Dogged Palace to limit Tuchel's Blues
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea all but sealed their spot in the Champions League’s final four on Wednesday evening with a 2-0 win at Porto. Regular ace Mason Mount bagged for the second game in a row, but now their focus must return straight back onto the Premier League and their mission to finish inside the top four. Crystal Palace have had a dull season, successful, they are well clear of the drop but with 73-year-old manager Roy Hodgson’s contract up at the end of the season the murmurs of his replacement are looming large. Palace are four points behind Arsenal in 10th with eight to play, a top half finish would be a great way for the former England gaffer to ride off into the sunset.
In terms of expected goals the Eagles have been desperate all season long and sit in 18th place in the expected goals standings. They rank 19th and 17th for expected goals for and expected goals against, a comfortable overperformance on both of those metrics has gone a long way to ensuring they maintain topflight status. Whether this trend continued for another season under the same manager, their fate could well be different.
Chelsea have boasted a very strong underlying process this term even under Frank Lampard’s leadership. They are still yet to score more than two goals under Tuchel, but if they keep creating such quality chances that statistic will not last much longer. The Blues rank fourth for expected goals for and second for expected goals against, a sustainable top four process that should steer them safely above surprise package West Ham United into the Champions League qualification spots.
Unders is the play, Tuchel would possibly be content with a point after the West Bromwich Albion debacle and Palace’s defence first style will play into that.
- Palace have scored in six of 10.
- Palace have conceded in six of 10.
- Palace have seen both teams score in four of 10.
- Palace have seen over 2.5 goals in four of 10.
- Chelsea have scored in eight of 10.
- Chelsea have conceded in two of 10.
- Chelsea have seen both teams score in two of 10.
- Chelsea have seen over 2.5 goals in one of 10.
Chelsea are easily the stronger team here, and they have the depth in the squad to cope with other competitions in their schedule. They should get the win but Palace are as stubborn as their manager and will keep it tight.