An utter contrast between these two London sides this season, as stylish Chelsea have infamously crumbled in defence of their title and find themselves lingering towards the bottom of the league. However, things have picked up under Guus Hiddink (why does he always sort everything out?), but he will be given an extremely tough test by Crystal Palace this afternoon.
The Eagles have been wonderful this term and remain just four points off the top four. Alan Pardew has been arguably the best manager in the year since he left Newcastle to move to Selhurst Park, transforming this team almost beyond all recognition.
The only blot on Palace’s record this term is that they somehow allowed Radamel Falcao to score against them back in August, though they did go on to beat their London rivals 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Pardiola’s fine work in South London had incredibly seen him linked with the vacant post when Jose Mourinho was axed, and while some scoffed, will surely be keen to show those persistent doubters just what he can do.
So, think you know this fixture inside and out do you? Have a read of these SEVEN stats crucial to this London derby.
Palace have actually NEVER won their opening game of the year while a Premier League side. Taking it too hard on New Years Eve are we, lads?
A win today could be the ideal New Years resolution to such a miserable stat.
Alan Pardew has been the Chelsea slayer over recent season. Even during his time at Newcastle, the former Reading manager always seems to have an answer against the Stamford Bridge oufit.
In fact, he’s won FIVE of the EIGHT games he’s pitted his wits against them since 2012, three more than any other boss to have played the same amount.
They are without a win in SEVEN Premier League away games, losing 4 times and drawing thrice.
One of the biggest disappointments this term for the fallen champions has been the form of playmaker Eden Hazard.
The Belgian has failed to score in 21 games, ironically since he notched against today’s opponents to send the Blues on their way to the title.
Chelsea have scored just seven times in their last eight London derbies, already losing to the likes of Palace and West Ham this season, while failing to score against Spurs at White Hart Lane.
Across his two spells in charge, after taking over from a sacked manager, Guus Hiddink has been imperious in charge of the West London giants.
The Dutchman has lost just 1 of his 15 games in charge during his two stints at the helm, though it was during a London derby back in 2009.
Despite the utter contrast in fortunes between today’s opponents, Chelsea have traditionally had the pull over Crystal Palace in times gone by.
They won a whopping NINE of their 13 Premier League meetings with the Eagles, losing just two and drawing the rest.