Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha homes in on comeback from knee injury

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha homes in on comeback from knee injury

Chelsea have slipped slightly off the pace of the top four sides, with two recent losses, 2-1 to Chelsea and 1-0 to Manchester City, to head into this game five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

With Spurs not playing till Sunday, Chelsea can temporarily trim the deficit between themselves and the Lilywhites to just two points if they beat relegation-threatened Crystal Palace on Saturday.

To have been leading 2-0 and in complete control of the game and then falling to a last-minute loss must have been galling for Palace, especially after they conceded a late victor against Tottenham in their previous game.

Roy Hodgson has done a commendable job considering the club had failed to record a single win or goal when he was hired, but injuries to a number of key players have made life hard for the former England manager. They will go into this game on the back of a dispiriting defeat, having capitulated 2-3 to Mourinho's Manchester United on Monday. The match will be held at Stamford Bridge in London. But the introduction of Wilfried Zaha at half-time gave the visitors renewed heart and Patrick van Aanholt pulled a goal back in the 90th minute to test the nerves of Stamford Bridge unduly. It's a pity at the end we conceded the goal and then we played three minutes a bit nervous because after you dominate the game you hope to feel the game more relaxed.

Eden Hazard has scored 68 Premier League goals for Chelsea, one short of equalling Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's tally.

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And Conte commended him for his display, both on and off the ball. For a lot of the game we dominated, we created many, many chances, a lot of chances to score.

"The teams ahead of us are going with a great velocity and it is important for us to not drop points in games, and in the future exploit the games we have at home". Ross Barkley is also doubtful. "Olivier played against West Brom from the start, he played against Hull and he came on in other games, but he's ready".

"This season perhaps hasn't been quite as good as last season but the team is still doing well", he said.

Hazard, seeking the goal to take him level with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in Chelsea's all-time scorers list, also had one ruled out when rightly flagged for offside after converting from a close-range rebound.

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