Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri takes charge of only his second London derby on home soil on Sunday.
The Italian will guide a Blues side who are undefeated in all competitions this season against Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace side at Stamford Bridge
Palace have failed to win in any of their last five Premier League matches and crashed out of the Carabao Cup at the hands of Sky Bet Championship side Middlesbrough on Wednesday evening.
Sarri’s side have struggled in recent times against the Eagles, falling to 2-1 defeats in three of their last six league meetings.
Ahead of their first clash at Stamford Bridge for six months, we compiled our own Chelsea and Crystal Palace combined team, based on average match rating statistics from WhoScored.com.
Goalkeeper: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace) 6.77
Wales’ first-choice goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey gets in ahead of the Blues’ club-record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga in between the sticks.
The 31-year-old has kept three clean sheets in the top-flight this season, only six goalkeepers have managed more,
Hennessey has made 20 saves from shots inside the penalty area, the fifth-most in the Premier League this term.
He is also one of only five ‘keepers to have saved a penalty this season in the league, denying Mohamed Elyounoussi from 12 yards during a 2-0 home defeat to Southampton in September.
Right wing-back: Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace) 7.40
Crystal Palace’s young right-back Aaron Wan-Bisaka has been the Eagles’ best player in the league this season.
The defender’s average match rating of 7.4 out of 10 makes him the highest rated defender in the Premier League and the second-best rated English player, only behind Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling (7.76).
Wan-Bissaka has won star man awards twice this term, after stellar performances during wins away at Fulham and Huddersfield Town.
He has also completed 41 tackles this season, bettered only by Everton’s Idrissa Gueye (49).
Centre-back: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea) 7.00
Sarri’s faith in giving Cesar Azpilicueta the captain’s armband for the opening 10 games of the league campaign has proved to be effective as they enter Sunday’s all-London affair as one of only three teams that are still unbeaten in the top-flight.
Azpilicueta, the first of three of Chelsea’s Spanish players to make our combined side, has made 19 tackles in the Premier League this term, the joint-highest total from any Blues player.
The full-back has made six blocks in the league, 50% more than the total managed by Chelsea’s next-highest defender.
He also has an assist in the league this term, creating Alvaro Morata’s 20th-minute strike against Arsenal in August.
Centre-back: David Luiz (Chelsea) 7.17
David Luiz sits in the middle of our back five after a stellar opening two-and-a-half months to the campaign.
The Brazilian has played in every minute of Chelsea’s league season so far, making him one of only five Blues players to do so.
His total of 675 completed passes is the third-highest of any Chelsea player and the fourth-most in the Premier League.
Luiz has also averaged one interception per match and is the only Blues player to have reached 10 interceptions for the current league season.
Centre-back: Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea) 7.13
The Brazilian’s centre-back partner is Germany’s Antonio Rudiger; the pair have started together in all 10 of Chelsea’s league games.
He is one of the two Chelsea players that has completed more passes than Luiz, making 732 of his attempted 800. Only Jorginho (936) and City defender Aymeric Laporte (766) have managed more.
WIth a total of 29 successful aerial duels in the league this term, Rudiger has won six more aerial battles than Chelsea’s next best player in this field, Luiz.
Rudiger also has a goal to his name, netting in the 2-2 draw with Manchester United last month.
Left wing-back: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) 7.27
Marcos Alonso’s renowned attacking presence from full-back has again been apparent this term, having scored once and creating two more in the league this term.
He also won penalties for Sarri’s side during away wins at Huddersfield and Newcastle United earlier in the season.
In Chelsea’s recent 4-0 demolition of Burnley at Turf Moor, Alonso’s blocked backheel led to Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s first league goal for the club for over two-and-a-half years.
Alonso’s continued form has earned him spots in Luis Enrique’s last two Spanish national team squads, a run he will hope to continue for their matches against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina later this month.
Centre-midfield: Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace) 7.03
Serbian midfielder Luka Milivojevic netted Palace’s first two home league goals of the campaign last Sunday during their 2-2 draw against Arsenal.
That brace makes him the club’s second top goalscorer in the league this season, only Wilfried Zaha (3) has more.
The holding midfielder has won 27 tackles in the league this season, eight more than any Chelsea player.
He has also made 16 interceptions, five more than any member of Sunday’s opposition. LIke tackles, his interceptions total is the second-best in the Palace side, only Wan-Bissaka has made more.
Centre-midfield: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea) 7.03
World Cup winner N’Golo Kante has also featured in every minute of top-flight football this season, despite returning from this summer’s tournament in Russia just a week before the Blues’ Premier League opener at Huddersfield.
Sarri’s system at Chelsea has seen Kante adapt into more of a box-to-box midfielder as opposed to a holding midfielder.
Kante has a goal and an assist in the league to his name, setting up Ross Barkley’s goal against the Clarets last Sunday and scoring the Blues’ first goal against Huddersfield in August.
The Frenchman has also made 19 league tackles, a total only matched by Azpilicueta from the Chelsea squad this season.
Right-wing: Pedro (Chelsea) 7.00
The final member of the Spanish Blues trio in our side is 2010 World Cup winner, Pedro.
He has netted three times in the league this season, making him the Blues’ joint-second top goalscorer in the top-flight.
His goals against Huddersfield, Arsenal and Bournemouth helped Chelsea to win all of their opening four Premier League matches this season.
Pedro hasn’t scored in all competitions in over two months, having missed a number of matches since then through injury.
False-nine: Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 8.04
The Premier League’s current joint-top goalscorer and highest-rated performer is Chelsea’s Belgian wizard, Eden Hazard.
He has scored seven goals and provided three assists across his nine league appearances this season and has provided the most direct goal contributions (goals and assists) in the division. His goal tally in the league equals the total managed by the entire Palace side.
Having netted five goals in four matches in September, including a hat-trick over Cardiff City, Hazard was named at September’s Premier League Player of the Month.
Hazard is one of only four players to have averaged a match rating of more than eight out of 10 in Europe’s top five leagues this term.
Left-wing: Willian (Chelsea) 7.37
Completing the side is Brazilian winger Willian, who netted his second league goal of the season during the convincing win over Burnley last Sunday.
The Brazilian has also scored in the Europa League, getting the winner during the Blues’ 1-0 win over PAOK Salonika in Greece in September.
In the Premier League, Willian has made 28 key passes, the joint-most in the top-flight this season.
He has also completed 17 dribbles in the league, only Hazard has completed more out of the Chelsea side.
*All statistics correct as of Monday 2nd November 2018.