Chelsea vs Crystal Palace: Hazard, Morata, Willian and Kante Start in Strongest 5-2-2-1 likely XI

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N’Golo Kante will be assessed ahead of the home meeting with Crystal Palace after missing the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City due to illness.

If he is fit to return, he should replace either Danny Drinkwater or Cesc Fabregas in central midfield.

Given the Blues are now five points behind fourth placed Tottenham Hotspur, Antonio Conte doesn’t really look to have the luxury of being able to rest players ahead of Wednesday night’s UEFA Champions League last-16 second leg against Barcelona.

So Eden Hazard should start, although after being used a false nine against City, he should revert back to an attacking midfield position.

He and Willian may be favoured over Pedro in the advanced midfield spots in the 3-4-2-1 system, with either Alvaro Morata or Olivier Giroud expected to start as the lone striker.

Davide Zappacosta provides a possible alternative in the wing-back positions, while Gary Cahill is the back-up option in central defence.

Tiemoue Bakayoko remains doubtful, while David Luiz is out.

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