Crystal Palace

Hodgson simply must start £10.8m-rated midfielder to record unlikely victory over Chelsea

The Crystal Palace fans have been feeling relatively downbeat in the Transfer Tavern this week since their side suffered a 3-2 defeat against Manchester United following a last-gasp winner from Nemanja Matic at Selhurst Park. 

Roy Hodgson’s side looked destined to record a priceless victory over Manchester United when Patrick Van Aanholt fired his side into a two goal lead shortly after the interval last Monday , but the travelling side had other ideas as they valiantly fought back to complete a 3 goal turnaround. The result was a bitter pill to swallow for the Palace faithful propping up our bar, as a point would have drawn them level with Southampton who currently sit just one place above them in 17th.

It doesn’t get any easier for The Eagles as they travel to Stamford Bridge to face Antonio Conte’s Chelsea for their next league fixture tomorrow afternoon. If it’s any consolation for the Palace supporters, they should take some hope from the fact that The Blues are currently going through a rough patch in the Premier League as their record of 4 defeats from their previous 5 fixtures clearly indicates.

Regardless of Chelsea’s recent form, the visiting side will be under no illusions that they will need to be at their very best to stand any chance of coming away with a positive result today. All eleven of Palace’s players will need to play their part, especially Andros Townsend (valued at £10.8 million by Transfermarkt) who arguably represents their most potent attacking threat.

Townsend scored the opener against United on Monday evening and his only other goal of the season arrived during a 3-2 defeat against Arsenal in December, so he clearly possesses the ability to make an impact against the top-six sides. The 26-year-old is also joint-top of the clubs assist chart with Christian Benteke with 6 to his name so far, and his teammates will need him to hone in on his creative abilities once again today to break down a solid Chelsea side.

Although they are far from an easy opponent, there is no better time to play Chelsea, so Townsend must take full advantage of their fragility and inspire Palace to an unlikely victory in West London tomorrow afternoon.

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