Little gets football fans as excited as the return of the Premier League and after a fairly dull international break we travel to Selhurst Park tomorrow to face another of our London rivals after beating Arsenal 2-0 before the international break. It also sees the start of a hectic week or so with four games in ten days including a trip to Old Trafford!
It was our inability to win matches of this kind last season which cost inevitably cost us the title. However, credit to Palace and their manager at the time, Tony Pulis as they fully deserved the result and that was said by Jose Mourinho himself! That win was the first of five successive wins under then manager Tony Pulis which helped them achieve an unexpected (and rather impressive) 11th-place finish.
We will be aiming to extend our unbeaten Premier League run into double figures. The Blues are the top-flight’s form team, having dropped just two points to take an early lead at the top. That job may be made harder after Mourinho’s revelation this morning that up to five players could miss the game, namely leading scorer Diego Costa, World-Cup winner Andre Schurrle, Chelsea legend Didier Drogba and reliable pair Ramires and John Obi Mikel.
On the subject of Diego Costa, he has scored more goals in his first nine games than any player has for Palace since their promotion last season. The same can be said for Cesc Fabregas and his assists.
There is no doubting that this will be a real test for The Blues, nonetheless, this is a game that we need to win. The frustrating thing about international breaks is that it can often halt the tempo of a team. However, this wasn’t the case at the start of September and hopefully the players will have learnt from last season that Crystal Palace away is not a fixture to take lightly. It will have the intensity of a London derby and their fans will no doubt sing from start to finish. Ideally, Diego Costa is declared fit but there is nothing unhealthier for a club (and its fans) than to rely on a single player being fit. Yes his impact is almost unrivalled but Loic Remy is a French international and faith has to be put into a player that has proven himself in the Premier League for both QPR and Newcastle.
One final point, the author congratulates John Terry (presuming he plays) on the fact that this weekend will see him captain the club for the 500th time. Captain. Leader. Legend.
So, let us hope that we continue our early season form and pick up another three points!
UP THE CHELS!!!