Chelsea will be hoping to see the back of an indifferent week as they welcome Crystal Palace to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.
A shock defeat was almost on the cards last weekend for Frank Lampard’s side, as the Blues managed to secure a comeback point against West Bromwich Albion having found themselves three goals behind.
Tammy Abraham’s late strike sealed the 3-3 draw, bailing out the experienced Thiago Silva who had a Premier League bow to forget – the Brazilian’s mistakes proving costly on his full Chelsea debut.
Fellow new boy Edouard Mendy had a more promising debut in the midweek Carabao Cup clash with Spurs, but the French keeper wasn’t able to be the hero in the penalty shootout which ultimately saw Tottenham progress.
For Crystal Palace, the Premier League season could hardly have started much better.
Victories in their opening two fixtures, including a win over Manchester United at Old Trafford, set up last weekend’s battle with Everton as an unlikely top-of-the-table affair.
And the Eagles can feel hard done by following their 1-0 loss to the Toffees, with a controversial penalty decision – as seemed to be the theme in the Premier League last weekend – sealing the win for Everton.
Palace then may fancy their chances against a Chelsea side who are yet to build up a head of steam, but if Roy Hodgson is to make the short trip back to Croydon with all three points then he will need his makeshift defence to be water tight.
The former England boss is still without ex-Chelsea man Gary Cahill, James Tomkins, Patrick van Aanholt and Nathan Ferguson at the back, with Cheikhou Kouyate once again expected to deputise at centre back.
At the top end of the field, Palace’s attack will be blunted slightly by the unavailability of striker Michy Batshuayi, who is on loan from Chelsea and therefore ineligible to face his parent club.
One positive is that Jeff Schlupp appears to be fit again, although Connor Wickham and Scott Dann are rated touch-and-go.
For Chelsea, Frank Lampard may hand Edouard Mendy his Premier League debut between the sticks for the Blues – 38-year-old Willy Caballero replaced the maligned Kepa Arrizabalaga against West Brom.
From an attacking perspective, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech are in contention to face Palace after injury layoffs – neither player has featured for Chelsea yet this season.
Marcos Alonso is not expected to play, with rumours circulating of a rift with Lampard following his half time withdrawal against the Baggies last week.
Chelsea v Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge is a 1230 kick off on Saturday, 3rd October.