Willian scores again as champions bounce back against relegation-threatened Palace

Wilfried Zaha celebrates the 3-0 victory over Leicester City

Wilfried Zaha celebrates the 3-0 victory over Leicester City

David Luiz, Ross Barkley and Ethan Ampadu are, however, all sidelined.

Zaha scored the victor in the game at Selhurst Park but had been expected miss the remainder of the campaign because of a knee injury. Martin Kelly and James Tomkins wilted under pressure against Manchester United but have done well in general and should keep their place at the back for this game.

Of his 29 Premier League appearances this season, 13 have been off the bench, but the form he has shown recently has ensured he is at the forefront of manager Antonio Conte's thoughts. "He's playing in a fantastic way but, I want to underline, not only with the ball - also without the ball".

"We are talking about a really good player", Conte told reporters when asked about Zaha.

This is the context in which the Blues welcome Crystal Palace to Stamford Bridge on the weekend.

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Conte has demonstrated many times that he will stand or fall on his own decisions regardless of the potential backlash, but recent performances have left him with some serious thinking - and possibly re-thinking - to do.

Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Hennessey; Wan-Bissaka, Kelly, Tomkins, Van Aanholt; Townsend (Lee 81), McArthur, Milivojevic (c), Schlupp; Benteke (Zaha h/t), Sorloth.

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Chelsea have won only four of their 15 competitive fixtures in 2018, with six of those matches ending in draws and five being losses.

Palace's last win in the Premier League came in mid-January when they beat Burnley.

"It's all about timing for Palace". The match will be held at Stamford Bridge in London.

Chelsea have missed out on a place in the Champions League only once since 2002, even qualifying when they finished sixth under Roberto Di Matteo in 2012. Only Frank Lampard (147) and Didier Drogba (104) have scored more.

His aerial presence injected panic into the Palace defense throughout the evening, and he came close to scoring his first league goal for Chelsea during a counter in the 67th minute but his shot cannoned back off the post.

But Hodgson dismissed suggestions that he could have let Zaha start the game.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson believes Chelsea FC will edge to a comfortable win against Palace, especially with Ivory Coast worldwide Wilfried Zaha sidelined for the Eagles.

Probability of away win: 8%.

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