Chelsea were stunned by West Brom last week but Tom Carnduff thinks they can bounce back in their Premier League meeting with Crystal Palace.
1pt e.w. Marcos Alonso to score first at 16/1 (bet365) (e.w. terms 1/3 1-99)
1pt Marcos Alonso to have 1+ assists at 8/1 (Betfair)
Chelsea bounced back from a shock 5-2 defeat to West Brom with a 2-0 win over Porto in the Champions League. The Portuguese side did have their chances though and the Blues will be wary of their threat for the second leg which takes place just days after a trip to Crystal Palace.
Rotation should be a common theme among Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool this weekend with focus on their European ties taking place next week. For Chelsea, a changed squad should have enough to move them into the top-four with victory over Palace.
Palace won't be in relegation trouble this season but their campaign has become a dull one. They sit 12th in the table, ten clear of the drop zone, and have just one win in their last five. Tottenham beat them 4-1 recently, we could well see another comfortable win for their opponents here.
Even with the 5-2 defeat to West Brom in their last Premier League outing, Tuchel is likely to rotate his squad due to the two Champions League games either side of this contest.
It could see the likes of Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic take up roles in the attacking midfield, while Tammy Abraham could return in the striker position. The likes of Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner could all sit this one out.
Ben Chilwell was on the scoresheet in the victory over Porto, and with him seemingly the preferred left-back, MARCOS ALONSO could return at wing-back and he represents good value at 16/1 for the first goal. The each-way odds on that bet remain above 5/1.
Alonso has been brought back into the mix under Tuchel and has rewarded his head coach with a number of solid performances. A stand-out trait is his ability to get forward and create in attack - it's why he's averaged a goal roughly every seven games during his Premier League career.
The wing back's last four Premier League starts have brought a huge 12 shots, with eight key passes coming across the same period. Since Tuchel's arrival, Alonso has seen 16 shots with seven of those being on target. Betfair offer 9/5 for a shot on target, but I'm willing to gamble on the bigger odds that one of those shots finds the net.
With the key passes posted during recent starts, I'm also happy to back ALONSO TO HAVE 1+ ASSISTS in this game. He is due one given the statistics and his position in this team.
I'm not concerned with the fact that he hasn't yet registered an assist this season. He's only recently been given a more regular role in the team and one will come if he carries on performing as he is. His Infogol expected assists figure sitting on 1.25 also shows that he should have had more.
Across the 20/21 Premier League season, Palace have seen a fairly level amount of shots against come from their left and right sides. However, Chelsea's desire to attack down the flanks should benefit Alonso in a game such as this - this is after all a Palace side who have conceded 48 goals in the league.
Chelsea are a short price for victory and rightly so, even after last week's loss, and the better outright value comes in taking the visitors to win on the -1 handicap which comes out at a price of 13/8. However, with the prices on offer, it's worth backing ALONSO to be involved in the goals.
Score prediction: Crystal Palace 0-2 Chelsea (Sky Bet odds: 11/2)
Odds correct at 1610 BST (08/04/21)
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