Crystal Palace 5.49/2 v Chelsea 1.748/11; The Draw 4.03/1
Sunday 30 December, 12:00
Live on Sky Sports Main Event
Palace brought back down to reality by Cardiff
Crystal Palace pulled off a huge shock when they beat Manchester City prior to Christmas and they now have a chance to cause another surprise when they host Chelsea on Sunday.
In between these fixtures Crystal Palace faced Cardiff in a game that they were expected to win. Instead, they could only draw 0-0, which suggests that Palace's longstanding issue with scoring goals is still a problem, despite the result at Manchester City.
For all of the goals and creativity that Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha bring to the team, Roy Hodgson lacks a striker that can be relied upon to find the net. That must be the priority for the January transfer window and if Palace can find such a player, they will be under absolutely no threat of relegation.
Christian Benteke has proved to be a disappointing signing and will miss the match through injury. Also missing in recent weeks have been Wayne Hennessesy and Martin Kelly.
Leicester defeat has left Chelsea adrift
Chelsea beat Watford on Boxing Day, but will still be smarting from losing at home to Leicester in their previous match.
That defeat leaves them eleven points shy of the Premier League leaders Liverpool and realistically out of the title race. The second part of the season seems likely to be devoted to qualifying for the Champions League and trying to win one or more of the three cups that they are still involved in.
Like their opponents, Chelsea would also benefit from a striker that they can rely upon to score goals and may look to address this issue in the January window. A challenge for Maurizio Sarri at this stage of the season is keeping his players fresh, as the squad these days lacks the depth that previous Chelsea managers enjoyed.
Sarri's job is not being made easier by the number of injuries that his side is currently picking up. Andreas Christensen, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Alvaro Morata, Victor Moses and Pedro are all doubts to the trip to Selhurst Park.
Chelsea slip ups swell price for an away win
Chelsea are the 1.748/11 favourites, with the draw at 4.03/1 and Crystal Palace at 5.59/2.
The price for a Chelsea victory accurately reflects that they have lost three of their last seven away games, but may still represent value considering Eden Hazard's form. The Belgian is a special player who can make the difference in tight games and he has now scored four goals in as many matches, including a brace in the recent win over Watford.
Hazard is a tempting price at 2.3811/8 to extend his scoring streak. Crystal Palace have kept consecutive clean sheets at home, but it seems unlikely that they will be able to resist Chelsea when Hazard is in irresistible form.
In the last two games that Hazard has found the net, he has scored the first goal and you can back him to do so again at 5.59/2.
Palace can turn corner screws
One area in which Crystal Palace look to have been underestimated is in the corners match bet. Chelsea are the 1.834/5 favourites, with Crystal Palace at 2.47/5 and the draw at 7.06/1.
It is Crystal Palace however, that have taken the most corners this season - 102 to Chelsea's 97. With wide players like Townsend and Zaha looking to attack the full-backs, this is an area in which Palace could come out on top.