CHELSEA NEWS

Graham Potter already knows two tweaks he can make to rediscover Chelsea form vs Crystal Palace

 

Chelsea return home to Stamford Bridge on Sunday to face Crystal Palace beaten and battered. Between poor form and injuries, defeat to Fulham ensured Graham Potter’s side fell to a record one win in their last nine matches in the league.

The Blues have not been convincing since their return from the World Cup break and have not tasted victory since their first game back against Bournemouth. Reece James, Raheem Sterling, Christian Pulisic, Denis Zakaria and Edouard Mendy have all been added to the injury list in recent weeks and with the club currently sitting 10th, 10 points behind a spot in the top four. The trajectory only seeming to head in one direction.

It is a run that Patrick Vieira is not taking into account when preparing his team for the trip to west London however. The former Arsenal midfielder is well aware of the quality of player Chelsea hold even if they do not entirely feel cohesive right now. He said:

“We’re looking at the squad they have and we’re looking at the quality of the players they have, we’re looking at the quality of the manager they have. At the moment they may be in a difficult period as everything goes against them and there are so many teams in that kind of position. That doesn’t take away the quality that they have. We have to perform well and not think about the run-in of games they’re having at the moment.”

Vieira is well aware Chelsea are capable of taking three points having last faced the Blues when they were in a testing situation. Palace welcomed Chelsea to Selhurst Park for Potter’s first Premier League match in charge of the club. It was a match won in the 90th minute for Potter to get his first win with the Blues, and while a tight match, was a moment in which Chelsea’s momentum was travelling in a very different direction with a different atmosphere surrounding the club.

On that afternoon, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his first goal for the club and only Premier League goal so far this term. The former Arsenal forward displayed the movement and clinical appetite for goal the Blues have missed for much of the season on that afternoon. The veteran has lacked that more recently but they remain the qualities Potter must find, despite the work-rate Kai Havertz provides up front.

Gallagher has largely joined Aubameyang on the bench in recent weeks, and his impact against the team that he spent 2021/22 with will not be quickly forgotten. The Cobham product’s late strike capped off the quality he imbued in his cameo. The 22-year-old arrived in a more offensively free role, an option should he be allowed to advance in front of a midfield of Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho.

It could be the moment to offer Gallagher a larger opportunity in such a position, with more responsibility moving forward given the failing form of a number of his teammates. His work-rate and tenacity will at least ensure his presence is felt.

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