Crystal Palace will attempt to win their first league game of the year when they host newly crowned Club World Cup winners Chelsea at Selhurst Park.
The Blues fresh from their triumph in Abu Dhabi will look to continue their winning ways in the Premier League, where they have struggled for consistency.
Patrick Vieira’s side, Crystal Palace, have gone sterile in the last two months and are in desperate need of a win, after drawing with Norwich and Brentford in their last two league outings.
The draw against Brentford was particularly drab and lacked the intensity which the Eagles started the season with.
Most of the passing was either sideways or backwards to the frustration of their fans.
But like every home game, Selhurst Park will be rocking and Chelsea have their own struggles when it comes to putting games away easily in the league.
Boost for Crystal despite Conor Gallagher’s absence
The South London side will be without the dynamic Conor Gallagher, due to the terms of his loan deal, but Patrick Vieira can call on the hard-working Cheikhou Kouyaté, who returned to the club this week with the Africa Cup of Nations winners medal.
Veteran midfielder James McArthur has also come through another week of intensive training, and can do a job in place of Gallagher.
McArthur’s return is particularly pivotal as Palace have often lacked his leadership and experience to see out games.
The Eagles are 13th in the league table and there are no concerns over their league status or a relegation scuffle, but they could do with a statement win over Chelsea to breathe life into their season.
Chelsea and their league struggles
The Blues were expected to fight Manchester City and Liverpool for the league title, but they’ve ended up falling behind even if they are doing well in the Cup competitions.
Chelsea are currently third in the league table, but 16 points behind leaders Manchester City.
A top four finish and another trophy will however be seen as a successful season for manager Thomas Tuchel, who is regarded as one of the best managers in the game.
Head to head
Crystal Palace wins: 12
Chelsea wins: 32