Every week this month I have found myself writing that Chelsea face a “defining game” or a “massive match”, and as they have gone by and the Blues have lost all of them, the next fixture has become more important still.
Now at last the Blues face a team lower in the table, but that won’t make it an easy game. Crystal Palace showed on Monday that they are ready to fight for their lives for Premier League survivial, and it took an extra time winner from Manchester United to see them off.
A Chelsea team in a spiral of bad morale is the perfect victim for this Palace team, who have already beaten them once this season. Antonio Conte must find some way of turning things around before this weekend.
Firstly he will bring in Olivier Giroud or Alvaro Morata. Finally playing an opponent who is likely to sit deeper means a great opportunity to use one of the forwards.
But that’s just the start. The whole team needs a major confidence injection if they are to avoid being beaten again by a desperate and committed Palace team.