English Premier League (EPL) defending champions Chelsea have been in awful form right from the start of the current season, which also saw the special one — Jose Mourinho — sacked in December.
After the sacking of Mourinho, the Blues have collected five points with a win over Sunderland and draw against Watford and Manchester United. New manager Guus Hiddink, who has been in charge of Chelsea for the last two games, will be eager to see his team collect three points when the Blues travel to Selhurst Park on Sunday for a crucial encounter.
Crystal Palace, who are currently in seventh place in the EPL standings table, have played some good football this season with nine wins from 19 games, compared to Chelsea's five wins. Crystal Palace have players in their ranks to do the double over Chelsea, who lost at home in August.
With players such as Mile Jedinak, Jason Puncheon and Wilfried Zaha, Chelsea need to be on top of their game if they are to take three points from the game.
Hiddink is well aware of the threat Crystal Palace poses under their manager Alan Pardew, who always means business irrespective of the team he manages.
"Crystal Palace are doing well. Alan Pardew has done a marvellous job in the period he has been working there," Hiddink said. "If you look at the statistics, you have a team that has scored 23 goals in 19 games and conceded just 16, which means he is well organised with his team."
Though Chelsea might have started the league badly and are out of the title race as well, they need to pick up some wins to climb up the table and fight for a top-four finish, which at present looks improbable.
"We have started gathering some points. It [the draw with United] was the third consecutive game we didn't lose but that's not enough. We must come now into a winning period of games; that's important," said Hiddink.
"You see how it is, all the big teams are losing points as well. Nowadays it's very difficult, and if you see where our next opponent is in the table, they are close to the Champions League positions. So it's not that easy now to have a long-term winning sequence."
Hiddink will more or less have a strong squad to choose from, with Eden Hazard also set to start for Chelsea, while Palace are going to miss some of their key players, such as Dwight Gayle, Bakary Sako, Yannick Bolasie, Connor Wickham on Sunday.
Where to watch live
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea EPL live match kicks off at 2:30 pm BST (7 pm IST IST, 8:30 am ET). India viewers can watch the game live on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD1. The online live streaming options are on Hotstar and Starsports.com.
UK viewers can watch the Crystal Palace vs Chelsea EPL game live on on Sky Sports 1/HD with live streaming on Sky Go.
Viewers in the US can watch the Crystal Palace vs Chelsea EPL live on NBC Sports, while the game can also be live streamed on NBC Live Extra.
Viewers in Africa can watch the Crystal Palace vs Chelsea EPL live on Supersport 3 Africa.