Chelsea-Crystal Palace Preview

American Christian Pulisic has been a big reason for Chelsea's solid form out of the Premier League's coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

Pulisic and the Blues look to keep the good times coming on Tuesday night, when they try to hand suddenly reeling Crystal Palace a season-high fourth consecutive league defeat.

Pulisic is the best American footballer at the moment, but it's taken some time for him to get acclimated to the Premier League game. However, that residency period seems to be over for Pulisic, who has been credited with 11 goals and seven assists over all competitions this season for the Blues.

Since the league's restart, the talented midfielder has scored twice and shown some stellar playmaking and ball control of late. He's helped the fourth-place Blues massively during their overall stretch of six wins in the last seven contests, including a 4-0-1 run over all competitions since football returned to the pitch following the lockdown.

In Saturday's 3-0 win over Watford, Pulisic, who turns 22 in September, was brilliant in the mid-field without notching himself on the scoresheet.

"What he looks now is sharp and hungry, and his quality is there for everyone to see at the moment," manager Frank Lampard told Chelsea's official website about Pulisic, who has overcome some fitness issues this season.

"He's going past players. He's moving at pace. He always works hard for the team - in the all the senses, to be fair.

"So, I'm very happy with him. And, considering his age, considering what may be coming from him, I'm very, very pleased, and we've got ourselves a very good player, and he'll get even better."

Pulisic and Tammy Abraham (16 goals over all competitions), via an assist from Willian (12 goals, seven assists), each scored in Chelsea's 2-0 home victory over Crystal Palace on Nov. 9. Willian also scored for the third time in the last two Premier League matches on Saturday.

Chelsea have won four straight Premier League contests versus Crystal Palace, whose last such win in the series came in October 2017.

Palace (11-9-13) were one of the hottest teams in the Premier League whilst winning four straight matches, spanning either side of the lockdown. After not conceding a goal in four consecutive contests, the Eagles have been outscored 8-0 amidst their current three-game, top-flight skid. Palace, 13th in the table, managed just one shot on target and seven total attempts during Saturday's 3-0 loss at Leicester City.

Whilst the Eagles are in an obvious rut, there's still an attainable season goal at hand for the squad.

"I think we have to try and look at the (first-half of the table as a finishing goal), so try and finish as high as we can," underachieving forward Christian Benteke, who has one goal over 22 league matches, told Crystal Palace's official website.

"We know we've got a tough schedule, but we've got to take it game by game and try and get as much out of it as possible."

Though it's uncertain how much it would help Palace, they could catch a break with it seeming unlikely Chelsea mid-field star N'Golo Kante will feature Tuesday whilst dealing with a hamstring issue.

Updated July 5, 2020

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