Chelsea is fresh off of a Champions League victory in Porto as they face Crystal Palace. What can the Blues look for against the Eagles?
1. Positive start and dominance
Chelsea had quite a poor start against West Brom, and we all know how that game panned out. With a system like Chelsea’s, it is essential to have a good start, keep the ball, and grow in confidence. Barring the second half in the second leg against Atletico Madrid, Chelsea hasn’t relied on counter-attacks often. Thomas Tuchel believes in playing out from the back and holding on to possession rather than trying outrageous passes (read: Hakim Ziyech).
It is a cautious approach that has worked till now, and there is no reason it won’t work this time. However, Chelsea should be the team running the show. Chelsea is a team that has barely conceded goals since Tuchel took over (except West Brom) and has been on a remarkable run. Chelsea needs to play with that arrogance and dominate the opposition.
Against Porto as well, there were a few nervy moments, and on another day, Chelsea could have easily lost the game as Porto. If Chelsea can start strong and dominate the Eagles on the ball, then that would already be a considerable achievement after that loss against West Brom. Moreover, the top four race is heating up with Liverpool finding results and West Ham being in the form of their lives. Chelsea needs to be careful and must remain confident to finish in the top four. It would be wrong to dwell on that loss for too long, and it is best to move on from it with a thumping and convincing performance against Crystal Palace.