Crystal Palace face another tough game as they host Chelsea and Dan Fitch expects the Eagles to draw another blank.
"Conte’s team have only conceded once in their last three Premier League games."
Crystal Palace v Chelsea
Timing poor for Hodgson coronation
Of the many poor decisions made by the owners of Crystal Palace, the timing of Frank de Boer's sacking may prove to be the biggest of all.
Having lost the first four games of the season without scoring, De Boer was replaced by Roy Hodgson, but the expected bounce that a club can often benefit from when they appoint a new manager, has failed to come.
It's hardly surprising considering the difficulty of the fixtures since Hodgson took charge. His first match at home to Southampton was winnable but hardly easy for a team short on confidence. This opening loss was followed by a nightmare run of games that has seen them visit Manchester United, Manchester City and now host Chelsea. These are matches that Palace would struggle to take points from, even if they were at the top of their game.
What's worse, Hodgson has a number of key players missing. Christian Benteke, Connor Wickham and Wilfried Zaha are all out injured, while Scott Dann and James Tomkins are doubts. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also ruled out against his parent club.
Europe taking toll on Chelsea
Chelsea benefitted from not having to play in Europe last season as their well-rested squad won the Premier League, but now they are struggling to juggle their commitments.
In the week before the international break the Blues pulled off a great result in the Champions League as they beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 away from home, only to then lose to Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
In his post-match comments after the City defeat, Antonio Conte laid the blame on Chelsea's schedule, stating that it was impossible to press such talented opposition in two games so close together. Chelsea certainly looked meek against Pep Guardiola's team, as they sat back and were dominated by the away side.
As if the loss wasn't bad enough, Chelsea suffered a further blow when their top score Alvaro Morata limped off with an injury. Morata seems set to join Danny Drinkwater and N'Golo Kante on the sidelines.
Eighth straight defeat for Palace
Chelsea are the heavy favourites at [1.4], with the draw at [5.1] and Crystal Palace the big outsiders at [10.0].
With Crystal Palace having not scored all season, an obvious alternative is the [2.2] for Chelsea to win to nil. Conte's team have only conceded once in their last three Premier League games.
Another option is for Chelsea to win half-time/full-time at [2.1]. They have been leading at half-time in all four of their league victories this season.
Unders could deliver
Over 2.5 goals is the favourite at [1.84], with unders at [2.08].
Considering that Crystal Palace are missing Benteke, while Chelsea are without Morata, unders looks a little overpriced, but this is a market that is probably best avoided.
Who will replace Morata?
With Morata out, Michy Batshuayi could lead the line. The Belgian has done well when called upon this season, scoring five goals in seven appearances and can be backed to add to his tally at [2.08].
Another option for Chelsea is to start Eden Hazard in Morata's place. Hazard is still finding his fitness after coming back from his own injury, but scored two goals for Belgium in midweek as they defeated Cyprus 4-0. In early betting on the Betfair Exchange, Hazard is [2.3] to find the net. That price should get a little bigger closer to kick-off.
Dan Fitch 2017/18 Season P/L
Staked: 45 pts
Returned: 41.09 pts
P/L: -3.91 pts