Chelsea v Crystal Palace: Blues may take time to secure win

Rita Ora is set to go on tour

Rita Ora is set to go on tour

Jason Puncheon was afforded a rare opportunity in the Crystal Palace first team on Wednesday night, starting against Middlesbrough as the Eagles fell to a League Cup defeat.

Chelsea's Maurizio Sarri insists he has to speak to Eden Hazard regarding his fitness before picking him in the club's match day squad against Crystal Palace.

"We need to improve, I think, covering the ball in the other half".

Although Puncheon's playing time has been limited this season, Hodgson appears to have granted the midfielder a lifeline in the coming matches.

Sarri has started better than many expected at Chelsea given the circumstances over the summer with Antonio Conte, meaning the former Napoli boss arrived later than he would have liked, and the implementation of a new system on players accustomed to Conte's 3-4-3 formation. He has great quality from the physical point of view and he's improving after the injury last season, and has improved from a tactical point of view.

The coach who has overseen ten successive unbeaten games thus far has the chance of equalling a Premier League record unbeaten run at the start of his tenure. "It is better to play and get experience".

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"Ruben came back from the World Cup and it was clear that the new manager, who hadn't even been appointed at that time, would probably want some time to assess him before he made a decision".

Chelsea struggled to break Palace down for much of a frustrating opening half, but they nudged ahead with their first shot on target in the 32nd minute. "It is too easy to go into the market for every problem". Meanwhile, Crystal Palace were beaten by Championship side Middlesbrough in the same competition, their fifth consecutive game without a win.

The England global is vying for a midfield place with N'Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas, as well as summer arrivals Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic.

Morata missed a hat-trick opportunity when played through by Hazard on the counter-attack in stoppage time.

The Italian manager has seen great improvements of Barkley over the past couple of weeks and is backing him to play a pivotal role at Stamford Bridge this season.

As Sarrismo has Chelsea applying constant pressure on opposition defences, the Blues have nearly always managed to get at exhausted opponents as the game goes on - as shown with Barkley's 96th-minute equaliser against Manchester United.

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