Michael Owen states his prediction for Crystal Palace v Chelsea

Michael Owen is tipping Chelsea to claim victory at Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon - but only just

Michael Owen is tipping Chelsea to edge to a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace on Sunday in the Blues’ first game of 2016.

The west London side’s struggles this season have been well-documented, with the Blues currently languishing in 14th place in the Premier League table after a disastrous start to their title defence.

Chelsea played out a goalless draw with Manchester United on Monday night in what was the club’s third game since Guus Hiddink’s appointment as interim manager following Jose Mourinho’s sacking earlier in the month.

And although former Liverpool striker Owen does not expect Sunday’s game to be a straightforward affair for the Blues, he is expecting to see Hiddink’s men edge to victory.

Former England star Owen wrote in his column for Colossus Bets: “It shows you how far Chelsea have fallen this season that I feel that I am being a bit controversial in taking them to win 2-1 at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

“That said, I imagine the bookmakers will have them as firm favourites, anyway. However, that does seem strange given Palace are nine places above them in the league, won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in August and Chelsea have only won one of their nine away matches.

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“But there have been signs of improvement of late, albeit limited improvement in the absence of their main striker Diego Costa, and I think they could just better a Palace side whose home record isn’t great for a team sitting fifth in the table.”

Chelsea, who lifted both the Premier League trophy and League Cup under Mourinho last season, have only won one of their last six top flight games.

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