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Crystal Palace V Chelsea: Confirmed Lineups, Hazard Returns

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: Fraizer Campbell of Crystal Palace battles for the ball with John Terry and Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on January 3, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Chelsea will be looking to stretch their lead at the top of the Premier League table with a win against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

With none of Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal playing until tomorrow at the earliest, Antonio Conte’s side can go nine points clear should they pick up their eleventh straight league victory against Alan Pardew’s struggling side.

For today’s game, Crystal Palace are facing something of an injury crisis with just over a dozen fit senior players for Pardew to choose from.

Mathieu Flamini picked up a groin injury against Manchester United in midweek so he’s out, replaced by Joe Ledley. Wednesday’s goalscorer James McArthur has been passed fit to play having previously been a doubt.

Jason Puncheon also returns to the starting eleven, coming in from Lee Chung-yong.

However, with Steve Mandanda, James Tomkins and Bakary Sako all out until next month (and more out for even longer) Pardew will be up aginst it to stop the Chelsea juggernaut.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14: Joe Ledley (C) and Crystal Palace players show their dejection after Manchester United's second goal during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United at Selhurst Park on December 14, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Chelsea meanwhile, keep the changes to as few as possible normally, and indeed that is the case this afternoon. Eden Hazard, however, returns having missed the win against Sunderland in midweek.

The Belgian international comes in for Pedro, with Willian retaining his place in the starting lineup.

Despite scoring the winner on Wednesday, Cesc Fabregas finds himself on the bench once again with Nemanja Matic coming back into the team. It is too soon for John Terry to return to the matchday squad, while China-bound Oscar is also not part of the 18-man panel this afternoon.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 17: Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea arrives at the stadiium prior to the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park on December 17, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.