Chelsea played an absolute gem of a Champions League tie against Real Madrid in midweek but unfortunately, they have been knocked out of the tournament.
The Blues though will have no time to repent because they have to quickly shift their focus to the FA Cup where they take on Crystal Palace in the semi-final. Chelsea should be strong enough to win this Sunday’s tie but things could get interesting because Tuchel is likely to make a series of changes to his starting line up.
The first major reason is that Chelsea played extra time vs Real Madrid so there will be a lot of tired players and to make matters worse, next midweek, they have to face Arsenal in a Premier League tie.
On paper, the Blues are a much stronger side but the Eagles have been in pretty nippy form in the previous few weeks, holding Man City to a draw and scoring three goals against a buoyant Arsenal side. The UCL exit will still be playing in Chelsea’s mind so Palace have a very good chance at rattling their cages on Sunday.
Chelsea team news vs Crystal Palace:
The manager needs to rest Thiago Silva because the 37-year-old has been playing back to back matches and there’s a big chance that he will be starting on the bench this weekend.
Silva does have time to recover from the Real Madrid game but reasoning would suggest that the experienced defender is given a break.
If Thiago Silva is rested then Christensen is likely to come back into the side and feature alongside Rudiger and probably Chalobah.
In midfield, Jorginho will get a start on Sunday but Thomas Tuchel will have to choose one between Kovacic and N’Golo Kante as his partner. Both of them played over 100 minutes in midweek so there is a possibility that Saul could come into the side.
Azpilicueta will come in for Reece James on the right-hand side but with both Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi sidelined, the manager has to keep selecting Marcos Alonso as the left wing-back.
Romelu Lukaku remains sidelined with an Achilles injury and there’s no confirmation yet if he will be fit for Sunday’s clash or not. If Lukaku is back then he will lead the line but if he remains absent then Kai Havertz will have to start in that role.
Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech came off the bench in midweek so both of them will be in line to start for Chelsea against Crystal Palace. This means Mason Mount and Timo Werner are going to be on the bench.
Crystal Palace: WDWWL
Timing: Sun, Apr 17 2022, 16:30 BST
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Referee: Anthony Taylor
How to watch:
UK: STV Player, The ITV Hub, UTV, STV Scotland, ITV 1 UK
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace prediction:
Chelsea 2-0 Crystal Palace
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