Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Chelsea FC v Crystal Palace

Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Chelsea FC v Crystal Palace

Moses established himself as a key figure at right wing-back under Antonio Conte, but Sarri's arrival has seen Chelsea switch to a 4-3-3 formation and the Nigerian is once again battling for minutes on the wing with Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian. He said: "I don't know". The Blues may have lost two of the last three league meetings between the sides, but they are a different proposition under Sarri and it would take a fearless punter to oppose them here.

But could he realistically challenge for the Premier League golden boot?

Sarri is surprised at his team's lofty position in the table having predicted they would encounter "problems" in the first half of the campaign, and remains adamant that they are some way short of achieving the defensive solidity that underpins truly elite sides.

While Moses is struggling for a place in The Blues' mainframe, 22-year-old Loftus-Cheek has found his form and had a recent hat-trick to show in the Europa League, such that Sarri is now eager to keep the youngster. I have to look also at the minutes in the national teams. Every moment was done only between the Europa League, League Cup and Premier League but in the future it will be different. He made an enormous impression, played extremely well and was a decisive figure towards the end of the season when we started to really climb up the league.

"The situation is that Drinkwater, for me, is suitable for a midfield with two midfielders".

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Roy Hodgson did a good job in keeping Palace up last season after the debacle of Frank de Boer but did nothing to truly improve the club over the summer. Everyone wanted to win Serie A, not the other competitions.

"Blues boss Maurizio Sarri has got a talented squad and happy camp - they are playing well, winning and enjoying themselves, and I think that will continue on Sunday".

Granted, those were against Liverpool and Manchester United, but had they thrown away more points after going in front, as they looked in danger of doing when Townsend levelled the scores, questions might have been asked about their mental fortitude.

Maurizio Sarri admits he will have to start rotating his star players over the festive period if he is to achieve Chelsea's desire for success in both the Premier League and Europe. It is normal if you want to play with continuity in a team like this.

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