N'Golo Kante did not feature against Manchester City and could be rested against Crystal Palace as well, which means we could see the pairing of Cesc Fabregas and Danny Drinkwater in midfield once again. He was understudy to Hazard in 2015, when they won the Premier League title under Jose Mourinho, and against under Conte a year ago.
Leading up to this game, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said: "They [Palace] lost the last couple of games". He is in good form.
"Last week on Friday it was very cold, and after the training session he briefly passed out in the dressing room".
"After this situation, the doctor gave him many check-ups to understand his physical condition".
Willian stepped over a pass on the edge of the area, allowing Eden Hazard to take charge and feed Zappacosta into the right side of the box, with the Italian's attempt hitting Hennessey and going in off Kelly in calamitous fashion. "He's OK. Every check-up is OK, it is flawless".
Conte reiterated the midfielder's absence for their clash at the Etihad Stadium was precautionary, but says there are no concerns over the France international's long-term health.
The focus is firmly on securing a top-four berth, but the West Londoners trail fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur by five points.
The gaffer hints that he trusts the two forwards but refused to guarantee them a place in the starting line-up against Palace.
Chelsea are hosting Crystal Palace this evening knowing that only three points will do if we want to be playing Champions League football next season.
"He helped me a lot in the changing room and for sure, with John Terry, we are talking about a player with great experience".
"We are talking about a really good player", Conte told reporters when asked about Zaha. Our confidence is normal.
Former Arsenal midfielder Merson believes Chelsea FC will edge to a comfortable win against Palace, especially with Ivory Coast global Wilfried Zaha sidelined for the Eagles. Remember they hadn't even scored a goal, let alone earned a point, before they beat the champions 2-1 at Selhurst Park in the middle of October, their eighth game of the season.
But although Hodgson indicated Zaha has recovered much quicker than anticipated, the Ivory Coast global may not be risked for Saturday's trip to Chelsea.
He also played up front against Barca, but was deployed in his more familiar role roaming from the left flank here. "To see them in this position in the table is a bit odd".