Chelsea cannot afford to take their foot off the gas as they travel to Crystal Palace this weekend – especially as they approach the business end of the Premier League season.
Jose Mourinho will be without the services of Samuel Eto’o and Ashley Cole, while Ramires is still suspended. Brazilian winger Willian is available after serving a one-match ban.
As for the home side, Dwight Gayle, Maraoune Chamakh, but Barry Bannan is in contention after recovering from illness and appearing against Newcastle United last weekend.
The Chelsea XI I’d pick:
B. Ivanovic – G. Cahill – J. Terry (c) – C. Azpilicueta
D. Luiz – N. Matic
A. Schurrle – Oscar – E. Hazard
Chelsea’s defence have been in good form for most of the season and the back four is pretty much set in stone as it is, so there wouldn’t be any need to make any changes here.
David Luiz’s return to action provided the Blues with a boost and I think that the Brazilian may have won Mourinho over as a midfielder, so should be partnering the impressive Nemanja Matic, who has been rock solid since rejoining the club during the January transfer window.
Willian is back and as a player I would normally prefer him to Andre Schurrle, but the German has been amongst the goals of late and the last thing we need is to drop silly points at Palace. I think Schurrle deserves to start this one to see if he can flourish with extended time in the team or if his recent burst was just a flash in the pan.
Unfortunately Samuel Eto’o is injured but our forwards don’t seem to score all that often away from home anyway. Fernando Torres is far more likely to start this one than Demba Ba and the Spaniard put in a decent shift when he came on against Arsenal last week.