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Preview: Chelsea vs Crystal Palace | Premier League

A preview of Saturday's Premier League opener for the Blues in west London.
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Chelsea begin their Premier League campaign at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday as the 2021/22 season kicks off in the top flight.

Thomas Tuchel's side will welcome fans back to Stamford Bridge as they look to start the season with a win against Patrick Viera's Palace.

The Blues face the Eagles in the opening match after lifting the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday.

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Chelsea come into this game unbeaten following an impressive pre-season. The Blues registered three wins from four matches in the build up to the season before beating Villarreal on penalties to lift the Super Cup.

First came a 6-1 victory against Peterborough United in a behind closed doors affair before playing infront of a crowd in a 2-1 victory at Bournemouth's Vitality Stadium.

The Blues then featured in the Mind Series and were crowned Champions following a victory at the Emirates stadium against Arsenal before a 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

Tuchel's side then took on Europa League winners Villarreal in Belfast, where the sides played out a 1-1 draw before extra time and penalties.

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Kepa Arrizabalaga was the hero from the bench, saving two penalties as the Blues lifted another European trophy.

Crystal Palace come into the game on the back of an unbeaten pre-season also: beating Walsall, Ipswich Town, Reading and Watford alongside a draw with Charlton Athletic.

Team News

Chelsea new boy Romelu Lukaku is unavailable for the match after completing a return to Stamford Bridge on Thursday night, Tuchel confirmed.

Hakim Ziyech will not feature, having been subsititued with a shoulder injury in Belfast on Wednesday night.

N'Golo Kante is also a doubt and is unlikely to be risked from the start.

Crystal Palace could hand debuts to former Chelsea man Marc Guehi, and Joachim Anderson, though loanee Conor Gallagher is ineligable to face his parent club having moved on loan this summer.

Prediction

Chelsea have a strong opening day record, having won 18 of their 29 matches on the first day of the season whilst the visitors have only won four of their 12 opening matches.

The Blues put four goals past Crystal Palace last season, winning 4-0 at home before coming out 1-4 victors at Selhurst Park.

Therefore, a win should be comfortable for Chelsea whilst Crystal Palace are in a rebuilding process, with several players having never played together before.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace 


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