Diego Costa vs Mamadou Sakho
The only problem that Chelsea could face in scoring past Crystal Palace’s defence is due to the presence of former PSG and Liverpool star Mamadou Sakho.
The defender was having a terrible time after being handed a ban after he was tested positive for a substance called Higanamine following the second leg of Liverpool’s Europa League tie against Manchester United. Later when he was cleared and about to make his comeback to the first XI, he was dropped by Jurgen Klopp from the side due to a disciplinary issue which cost him 6 more months on the bench and later securing a loan deal to Crystal Palace.
Diego Costa is a proven goalscorer and with 17 goals already to his name he will be a force to stop and Sakho will need all his experience to stop him both aerially and on the ground as well.
Christian Benteke vs David Luiz
There was no much promise and hype created when Benteke signed for Liverpool from Aston Villa. The forward with his heading ability and scoring prowess was creating so much terror in opposite defences but he couldn’t really get on with the philosophy of Jurgen Klopp which resulted in him switching sides to Crystal Palace after just one year with the club.
David Luiz, on the other hand, is having a good second spell with Chelsea. He was sold to PSG £50 million which raised a quiet bit of brows at that time. He couldn’t really settle in at PSG and returned to Chelsea under Antonio Conte.
It will be interesting to see how Luiz handles Benteke considering both players are really good when it comes to aerial duels and Conte will definitely tell Luiz to mark him closely especially when a cross in coming in from the flanks.
Yohan Cabaye vs N’Golo Kante
A football match is often judged by how you control the midfield and Chelsea have a real match-winner with them in N’Golo Kante. The player was influential last season in Leicester winning the league title. Not the most talked about player in the squad but certainly, one player who everyone rates high when it comes to holding the ball, winning back and dictating the tempo of the game.
If Chelsea have Matic and Kante then Crystal Palace have with them French playmaker Yohan Cabaye. He certainly is the player that can dictate the midfield really well with his distribution and long range efforts.
Something which everyone will keep an eye on when this two sides will meet is Kante’s defensive ability to Cabaye’s playmaking.