Pick Blues at Stamford Bridge vs. Palace in Saturday's London Derby

Kevin Stott

Monday, August 24, 2015 12:06 PM GMT

Monday, Aug. 24, 2015 12:06 PM GMT

Defending champions Chelsea head to the friendly confines of Stamford Bridge on Saturday as they host Crystal Palace in a London derby. Join us as we review the betting odds & share our free pick.

After topping West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Sunday in Matchday 3, defending English Premier League champions Chelsea and Manager José Mourinho head home to the friendly confines of Stamford Bridge on Saturday as the Blues host Crystal Palace in a London derby. With former Barcelona star Pedro now signed and contributing—he had a Goal and an Assist in the win over the Baggies in his EPL debut—for Chelsea and a Draw and a Loss in its first 3 games, expect Diego Costa and the hosts to be fired up here. Let’s look at the lifetime series trends, key players and make a couple of soccer picks for the Matchday 4 fixture which could end up being entertaining if the upstart Eagles come to play.

 

Odds Overview
Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace [Saturday 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT] (NBC Sports Live Extra (US) Defending champions and 9th-place Chelsea (1-1-1, 5 GF-7 GA) welcome their 4th-place neighbors from 9 miles down the road in South Norwood—Crystal Palace (2-0-1, 6 GF-4 GA)—to Stamford Bridge on Saturday for this fun Matchday 4 English Premier League London derby. Oddsmakers here have made Chelsea -300 favorites here over Crystal Palace (+650) with the Draw priced at +400 (Coral) with the Total Goals in this contest set at 2½, with the Over priced at -150 and the Under priced at +114 (Bet365). Some Props wagers for this wonderful Week 4 English Premier League fixture from Londontown: Both Teams To Score: ‘Yes’ +100, ‘No’ -137 (bet365); To Win To Nil: Chelsea +130 (bet365), Crystal Palace +1800 (BetVictor) ; Team To Score First: Chelsea -275, Crystal Palace +229 No Goals +1200 (Paddy Power); Draw No Bet: Chelsea -800, Crystal Palace +500 (Boylesports); and, To Score First: Chelsea +130, Crystal Palace +500, No Goals +1200 (Paddy Power).

 

Crystal Palace FC
Crystal Palace (7-6-6, 26 GF-24 GA, Road last season) in 4th place in England’s top flight of football and in position for a UEFA Champions League berth? Is it August? Why yes it actually is Komrade, but still, the nice start the Eagles should be put in its proper context...scheduling. This particular game is the big test for Palace, especially at The Bridge where The Special One seldom, if ever, loses when managing the Blues in league play. But you can be assured the Eagles will try. Crystal Palace (3000/1 to win EPL title, Ladbrokes) rolled Norwich City 3-1 on the Road on Matchday 1; lost 2-1 to Arsenal at Home at Selhurst Park in Matchday 2; and then Palace topped Aston Villa by that same 2-1 scoreline again at Home at Selhurst Park this past weekend (Saturday) on Matchday 3. So, Palace Manager Alan Pardew couldn’t for a better start without being a little greedy. On the attack, Crystal Palace started Glenn Murray at Striker and Jason Puncheon, new-signee Bakary Sako (Wolverhampton), James McArthur, Yohan Cabaye (1 goal) and Wilfried Zaha (1 goal) at MF spots against Aston Villa and Pardew has been raving about the 27-year-old Malian international Sako (1 goal), who along with D Scott Dann (1 goal), scored on Saturday in the Eagles win over the Villians. Mourinho and the Chelsea Defense will have to keep track of Sako on Saturday and with the Blues having allowed an un-Chelsea-like 7 goals in their first 3 matches and at least 2 goals a contest, expect Sako or Zaha or CMF Cabaye to get a goal past GK Thibaut Courtois for the spunky visitors.

 

Chelsea FC
Chelsea (15-4-0 Home, 36 GF-9 GA last season) went unbeaten at Home here at Stamford Bridge last season and with a chip on their shoulder now after a Draw (Swansea City) on Matchday 1 here followed by a Road Loss (3-0) on Matchday 2 (Manchester City), it will now probably be much harder for teams to try to catch the defending EPL champions off guard, especially on their home soil in this Summer and the coming Fall season. On Matchday 3 at The Hawthorns in West Midlands against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, Chelsea (4 points) ran to a 3-2 win—its first of the new season—as Diego Costa, new-signee MF Pedro (Barcelona) and D César Azpilicueta all scored for the visitors in the victory over the Baggies. From a betting standpoint from this point forward, it’s good to know that Chelsea (+350 to win EPL, 32Red) is chasing first-place Manchester City (3-0-0, 8 GF- 0 GA, 9 points) and will be motivated by that reality and should be on its best behavior in September and October. Here against Crystal Palace, expect the Blues to get at least 2 goals with Costa and Pedro likely contributing again as well as MF’s like Eden Hazard, Oscar or Willian and Cesc Fàbregas. Like a car needing time to warm up, Chelsea should now start to improve and Sunday’s 3-2 exciting win should give the Blues some much needed confidence as the 2015/16 EPL season itself starts to heat up.

 

Series Trends and Best Betting Approaches
Overall in English Premier League play, Chelsea is 14-9-3 (46 GF-22 GA) lifetime against Crystal Palace and an impressive and unbeaten 8-5-0 (26 GF-10 GA) here at Home at Stamford Bridge against their London neighbors. The Blues have W4 straight against Crystal Palace here at Home, outscoring the Eagles, 13-4 along the way, including a 1-0 victory last season in Week 25. The last time Crystal Palace defeated Chelsea was in the 2013/14 EPL season when it won 1-0 at Home at Selhurst Park. With Sako, Zaha, Murray and Cabaye, the Eagles should be able to somehow squeeze a goal out here against Courtois and Chelsea, which has allowed 2 (Swansea City, Courtois and Asmir Begovic), 3 (Manchester City, Begovic) and 2 (West Bromwich Albion, Courtois) goals in its first 3 matches—something very uncharacteristic for the league’s best Defensive squad last season and a club with two very good GKs and a usually solid back four.
With the Three-Way line so high on favorites Chelsea (-300), heading to the Asian Handicap market and laying 1.5 goals (+103, BetVictor) and asking the Blues to win by (at least) 2 goals here at Home in SW6 seems worth the gamble, with this Defense-hungry team knowing it has allowed at least 2 goals in each of its first 3 games and wanting to try to clamp down in the back. The pace in this one should be frenetic here and checking odds for Sako, Costa and Pedro when the Anytime Goalscorer numbers come out later in the week is also recommended. Players get in grooves and all three of these goal-hungry players look to be on the precipice of some scoring spurts for their respective clubs, with two of them (Sako, Pedro) both wanting to impress their new employers and show it’s OK if they take some shots when warranted.


Predicted Final Score: Chelsea 3 Crystal Palace 1

Premier League Soccer Picks: Chelsea -1.5 +103 (BetVictor), Over 2½ -150 (Ladbrokes)

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