Paul Merson: Why Chelsea will beat Crystal Palace on Saturday

Paul Merson is confident that Chelsea will beat Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon

Paul Merson has tipped defending champions Chelsea to build on last weekend’s victory over West Bromwich Albion by taking maximum points from their upcoming clash with Crystal Palace.

After a stuttering start to the campaign, Jose Mourinho’s side laboured to a thrilling 3-2 victory at The Hawthorns last Sunday thanks to an inspirational performance from new signing Pedro.

The former Barcelona man opened the scoring following his £21m move, and Merson told Sky Sports the Spaniard could play a crucial role if the Blues are to taste victory again tomorrow.

“I’m going for the champions here,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“I loved seeing their second goal at the weekend against West Brom scored by Diego Costa, it was them back to their best. Pedro looked brilliant, outstanding. For £21m he is top, top drawer.

“When you think of the huge saga over the summer for Kevin De Bruyne between Manchester City and Wolfsburg, Chelsea have got their winger with no fuss, and he’s probably twice as good.

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“Palace fell over the line against Shrewsbury, which shocked me, and Villa. They’ll score at Stamford Bridge because they’re quick on the break away from home, but the hosts will be too strong.”

Chelsea will be without captain John Terry, who was sent off against the Baggies after being substituted for the first time under Mourinho the previous week, so Kurt Zouma will partner Gary Cahill in defence.

Alan Pardew will welcome Yannick Bolasie back into his fold after the winger missed Palace’s recent 2-1 win over Aston Villa due to the death of his father.

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