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Chelsea travel to Crystal Palace in Graham Potter’s first league game as manager
Chelsea to win 2-1
Tournament: Premier League 2022-2023 | Venue: Selhurst,London, Selhurst ParkBet Now
Chelsea begin life under a new manager in the Premier League, one that is different from the high-profile names appointed under the previous owners.
Graham Potter comes from more humble beginnings, taking charge of Swansea and, most recently, Brighton. While the latter has become a fine team, this is still a massive step up for him.
Managers with more successful backgrounds have failed at Chelsea, so he’ll need to get the players onside quickly. His first game, a Champions League fixture against RB Salzburg, ended 1-1.
They may have their work cut out away to Crystal Palace, despite the home side securing just one victory this season. Patrick Vieira’s side have struggled to pick up points, although they have looked dangerous at times.
This should be an entertaining game.
Reasons to be cheerful:
International break has given players time to recover fitness
Have been efficient in front of goal so far
Reasons to be fearful:
Lost their last nine games against Chelsea
Could be in the bottom three by the end of the weekend
Crystal Palace are a team that don’t earn enough points for the quality of their play.
With players such as Zaha, Mateta and Eze going forward, you would expect a greater return of goals considering the quality they have.
The international break will have given those players time to sharpen their fitness levels once more.
Additionally, Michael Olise should have returned to full fitness, having spent much of the past year on the injury list. He’ll add quality to Palace’s right wing.
Their record against Chelsea is poor, of course. Only against Liverpool have they lost more matches consecutively and they could struggle to halt that run here.
Chelsea will be eager to please their new manager and Palace will need to be at their best to stop them.
Star Man – Wilf Zaha
His four goals in five games is as many as the rest of Palace’s squad combined. Palace are over-reliant on their flying winger and he will need support if Palace are going to rise up the table.
Reasons to be cheerful
Have won eight of their last nine London derbies
An extra two weeks of training with their new manager will help
Reasons to be fearful
This game starts a punishing run of fixtures throughout October
Performances are unlikely to improve dramatically straight away
When Thomas Tuchel was appointed as Chelsea manager, the performances and the results started to improve immediately.
His side went on an incredible run that saw the Blues win the Champions League and reach the FA Cup final in his first season.
It is unlikely to happen that way for Graham Potter. He is a manager of great promise, but he must first bring the players round to his style of football, which will take time.
Chelsea fans must give the new manager time, especially if results don’t go their way.
Against Palace, they know that they will have most of the possession throughout the game, but can their forward players link together?
Star Man – Raheem Sterling
The quick forward is likely to enjoy working with Graham Potter, who encourages his players to play with style and pace. He has four goals this season, while no other Chelsea player has more than one.
Chelsea will boss possession
Palace will hit them on the break
Could be a low-scoring game
All eyes will be on Graham Potter this weekend, taking charge of Chelsea for the first time in the league. There will be many who want him to fail, to prove that Chelsea should have gone for a big-name manager.
That won’t put him off. It’s a massive job, but he’ll be true to his style of play and trust the players to perform to his high standards.
It’s likely to be a tight game, with Palace inviting Chelsea to break them down.
The Blues are favourites, although it could be close.
Chelsea to win 2-1
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