Paul Merson predicts Crystal Palace v Chelsea FC

Paul Merson is backing Chelsea FC to edge to a narrow 2-1 win against Crystal Palace in the London derby on Saturday afternoon

Paul Merson
Arsenal legend Paul Merson (Photo: Sky Sports)

Paul Merson is tipping Chelsea FC to edge to a narrow 2-1 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues will play their first Premier League game since being crowned world champions after a 2-1 victory over Palmeiras in the Club World Cup final last weekend.

Chelsea FC crashed out of the Premier League title race but the Blues ended a run of four games without a win thanks to a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in their last top-flight fixture in January.

The world champions will start the Premier League weekend in third position and 16 points behind leaders Manchester City and just four points ahead of fourth-placed Manchester United.

Thomas Tuchel’s men will face a Crystal Palace side that are winless in their last five Premier League games since a 3-0 win against Norwich City at the end of December.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson is tipping Chelsea FC to edge to a narrow 2-1 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.

“This is a very good game, but Conor Gallagher will be a huge miss for Crystal Palace as he can’t feature against his parent club Chelsea,” Merson told Sportskeeda.

“I do like Palace a lot and they’ve played some good football under Patrick Vieira this season, but Chelsea will have a little bit too much for them.

“I don’t think it’ll be a huge scoreline, but I fancy Chelsea to win this one. Mason Mount is injured and that’s a massive blow for Thomas Tuchel, but if I was tasked with naming a front three for Chelsea at the moment, I’d go for Hakim Ziyech, Romelu Lukaku and Kai Havertz.”

Chelsea FC were 3-0 winners against Crystal Palace in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge back in August thanks to goals from Marcos Alonso, Christian Pulisic and Trevor Chalobah.

The Blues have won their last six games against Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

Author’s Verdict

Chelsea FC will return from the Club World Cup in good form after putting their patchy domestic form behind them to be crowned world champions in Abu Dhabi.

The Blues ended their winless run with a commanding victory over Spurs last time out and Chelsea FC will face another London team that they’ve traditionally bullied this weekend.

Although Chelsea FC don’t seem as imperious as they did at the start of the season, it’s difficult to see an out-of-form Palace side causing Tuchel’s men any problems.

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