Willian nets again as champions bounce back against Palace

Willian nets again as champions bounce back against Palace

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has allayed fears over the long-term health of N'Golo Kante and insisted the France midfielder is "fine".

The Blues lost back-to-back games against Manchester United and Manchester City and now sit in fifth position, five points behind fourth placed Tottenham Hotspur.

A strike from Willian and an own goal from Martin Kelly allowed Chelsea to close the gap on fourth-placed Tottenham to two points with a 2-1 success over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge. Here is our predicted XI.

"It's a remarkable recovery, but we don't think he'll be able to come back like the Wilf Zaha he was before the injury after two modified sessions", Hodgson continued.

The Chelsea vs Crystal Palace Premier League match can be seen live on Star Select 1 and Star Select 1 HD.

"We can only hope that we can reproduce the recent performances against similar opponents, and give them as good a game as we did against Spurs and [Manchester] United".

Wilfried Zaha (knee injury) is still a week away, at least, while Mamadou Sakho (calf injury), Jason Puncheon and Connor Wickham (knee injuries) are still some distance from fitness.

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"Also for him I think if he wants to make the next level, he has to choose a big club right now and play with better players around him".

Palace has lost its last three Premier League games and hasn't won since a 1-0 victory over Burnley on January 13.

Chelsea's next outing will be the UEFA Champions League fixture against Barcelona, while Palace take on Huddersfield. They are 18th in the league with 27 points on board.

The last time Chelsea lost three home London derbies in a row (against the same opposition in the top-flight) was vs. Arsenal in April 1974.

Thibaut Courtois should be the man in goal. Remember they hadn't even scored a goal, let alone earned a point, before they beat the champions 2-1 at Selhurst Park in the middle of October, their eighth game of the season.

Chelsea had lost just four out of the first twenty-one matches in the league and since then, have gone to lose four in just our last eight games. Palace have drawn nine games in the league this season but only one of these has come against teams in the top nine of the division.

Zaha has been a standout performer for the Eagles this season, scoring four league goals and registering one assist, while creating a further 34 chances for his teammates.