Chelsea Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Crystal Palace

The Blues are producing a patchy run of form as the fixture list ramps up in the league during the festive season

Chelsea are struggling for consistency as they bounced back from a 1-0 defeat to Leicester City at Stamford Bridge to win away against Watford on Boxing Day. 

According to Chelsea’s manager Maurizio Sarri, his side doesn’t have what it takes to compete with Manchester City or Liverpool in the battle for the Premier League title and they have turned their focus to finishing in the top four to qualify for the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Roy Hodgson has guided Crystal Palace to sit seven points clear of the relegation zone and his side stunned the world with a 3-2 away win against the champions Manchester City last week.

Pedro came off injured against Watford on Boxing Day and he is set to miss the next 10 days as he suffers from a hamstring injury. Callum Hudson-Odoi also picked up a hamstring injury in the same game and he is a major doubt for the trip to face Palace in the London derby.

The likes of Alvaro Morata, Andreas Christensen, Ruben Loftus-Cheek are thought to be fit and back in contention after recent layoffs.

Sarri confirmed the injured players ahead of kick-off: “We have two problems. The first and most serious I think is with Pedro. Pedro has an injured hamstring and I think that he will have to rest for about 10 days.

“The second problem is Hudson-Odoi, it is not a very serious problem but I don’t know if he will be able to play in the next match.”

Neither Chelsea nor Palace have any players suspended for the match.

The absence of Pedro may see Eden Hazard return to a wide position, after a number of weeks operating as a false 9 for Chelsea. In four matches in the central position, Hazard has contributed three goals and three assists for Chelsea.

Sarri also seems to have settled on a preferred XI, with Kepa Arrizabalaga, Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso and N’Golo Kante having started all of the Blues’ Premier League games.

Olivier Giroud looks likely to step back into the side, while there’s a battle for places in midfield with Mateo Kovacic seemingly just ahead of competition including Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley for the left-sided spot.

Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Christian Benteke remains out with a knee injury, although he is set to return soon for the Eagles. Palace could welcome back their goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, who has been out in recent weeks with a back problem.

Martin Kelly is also a doubt due to a thigh complaint but he could be set to return against Chelsea.

The match at Selhurst Park kicks off at 12:00pm GMT (7:00am ET) on Wednesday and it will be shown on Sky Sports in the UK.

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