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A 5-2 defeat to West Brom was certainly not in the script for Chelsea, who have now conceded over a quarter of their Premier League goals this season to the Baggies.
If there is any silver lining to take from that game for Chelsea fans, though, is that it served as something of a warning against complacency ahead of their Champions League quarter-final against Porto, in which they came through 2-0 winners in the first leg.
That’s the exact kind of response Thomas Tuchel was after when coming up against a tricky side, and we’re inclined to view this game as business as usually for the Blues.
The West London side have still kept 13 clean sheets from 16 games this year in all competitions, with 14 of their games also seeing under 2.5 goals and we’d be surprised if this was another exception.
The issue for Chelsea has been creating opportunities to finish, and as Lampard saw his side score three or more goals in 48% of his games this season, Tuchel has failed to see that happen even once.
Chelsea To Win And Under 3.5 Goals
It’s a case of what you see is what you get with Crystal Palace, who have excelled against some of the weaker sides, and struggled against the better teams in the league.
Indeed, of the other nine bottom half sides, Palace have beaten eight of them, though they are now winless in 13 games against sides in the top half of the table.
Those winless games include heavy defeats to Man City (4-0), Spurs (4-1), Villa (3-0), Liverpool (7-0) and Chelsea themselves (4-0).
Having said that, of the 11 sides to have played Palace twice this season, on Burnley have completed the double over them, proving it’s very difficult to get the better of them twice.
Chelsea are looking to become the second side to do so having won the reverse fixture 4-0 at Stamford Bridge, though even with Palace’s record we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Blues come up trumps in this London derby.
Indeed, while Palace have traditionally been a bit of a bogey team for Chelsea, the five-time Premier League champions have done the double over Roy Hodgson’s side in each of the last two seasons, winning the last six head-to-heads.
We wouldn’t expect a similar scoreline to the one Chelsea achieved under Frank Lampard this season, so the away win and under 3.5 goals looks to hold good value.