Chelsea's Maurizio Sarri: Danny Drinkwater, Victor Moses not in tactical plans

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The expected return of Eden Hazard, fit again after a minor injury, only furthers their cause; the Belgian has five goals in Chelsea's last four league games at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are enduring a tough second season under Roy Hodgson and are now 14th in the Premier League, winless in their last five.

"I'm pleased now, after a period when he didn't seem to be getting many chances, that he's gone into the team and shown what we saw in him - that he's a top-class player".

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

Asked then if he could have foretold this start to his Chelsea career, Sarri replied: "No, because in every experience that I have had before, I was in trouble in the first two months".

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.

The Blues are now unbeaten after 10 games in the league, including draws against Liverpool and Manchester United and a win over Arsenal - amid other confident wins.

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Chelsea face Crystal Palace on Sunday in the Premier League as they aim to extend their unbeaten run in the competition to 11 games.

Wilfried Zaha has garnered a reputation for going down a bit too easily when up against an opposing defender and has been very vocal this season about requiring protection from the referees. The Eagles have not been impressive since the start of October, the midweek League Cup loss to Middlesbrough their fifth game without a win in all competitions, yet still find themselves up in 14th at the start of the weekend thanks to the travails of Southampton, Newcastle, Huddersfield et al.

Maurizio Sarri has been impressed by Hazard's intensity in training this week and is confident he will be available to play some part in the match at Stamford Bridge.

Predicted Chelsea XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Jorginho; Kante, Barkley; Pedro, Morata, Willian.

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

Team News! Eden Hazard has recovered enough to make the bench! We need to press in the opponents half.

"I was really pleased when he came in the other week in that Europa League game and scored a hat-trick".