Predicted Chelsea lineup (4-2-3-1) to face Crystal Palace, Kante and James start
Chelsea will be eyeing a sixth straight Premier League victory when they host Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.
The Blues are presently occupying the fourth position in the league standings and they are six points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal in the pursuit of the final Champions League spot.
Kepa Arrizabalaga will undoubtedly start between the sticks for the Blues. The Spaniard had a tough first half against Ajax in the midweek Champions League clash but made up for the same with a strong second half display.
In the defence, Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori should continue as the centre-back pairing. There could, however, be a change in the full-back spots. Marcos Alonso had another below-par showing in midweek and he could be replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta at left-back. This should allow Reece James to make his maiden Premier League start on the right side of the Blues backline.
In the midfield, the Blues will be without the services of Jorginho, who has been suspended after picking up five yellow cards in the Premier League. His absence should witness N'Golo Kante make his injury comeback and he should partner Mateo Kovacic. Ross Barkley is still out of contention with an ankle concern.
In the attack, there could be the single change with Callum Hudson-Odoi coming in for Mason Mount. Mount remains doubtful with an ankle injury sustained against Ajax and Frank Lampard may remain cautious and place him on the bench.
Hudson-Odoi and Willian will take up the left and right wing roles in this case. Christian Pulisic will most likely feature in the number 10 position with Tammy Abraham leading the line ahead of Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi.
Predicted Chelsea lineup: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori, Reece James, Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, Willian, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham.