After just seven matches of the Premier League season, Chelsea have looked so dominant that their odds to win the division have shrunk to a tiny 8/15.
The Blues are five points clear at the top, having already taken a point at the home of their only conceivable title rivals Manchester City, and possess the league’s top scorer and provider in Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.
Despite all this, we recommend punters grab the 6/1 available that Crystal Palace best the Blues at Selhurst Park with both hands, and here’s why:
Under kingmaker Tony Pulis, the Eagles plucked three points from Chelsea’s title-hunting fingers at the back end of March last season via a 1-0 win.
They were not the only team that Jose Mourinho’s side struggled against on the road, with Aston Villa, Stoke and Newcastle all also beating them.
Chelsea’s away problems eventually knocked them out of the title race, even if they did prove critical in sending the trophy Manchester City’s way by beating Liverpool.
Those issues on the road have persisted this term even if the Blues have generally picked up the right result.
They went behind to newly-promoted Burnley in their first match of the campaign, leaked three in winning at Everton and were outplayed and could only draw with ten-man Man City.
Furthermore, Crystal Palace might be languishing in 15th place in the table, but they have only lost once in 90 minutes since Neil Warnock returned, making the home/draw double chance a fine bet at 9/5 for those too chicken to back an Eagles win.
Warnock might not be quite the manager Pulis is, but he did mastermind a victory over Chelsea the last time he played them at home – with QPR in 2011/12.
In addition, fatigue will be a factor as Chelsea players traveled more miles in total than those of any other Premier League club during the international break, and the Blues have a poor record in recent London derbies.
Chelsea have won just five of their past 14 away matches in the capital, and even Mourinho only managed two wins in his five all-London clashes on the road last term.
We’re almost starting to feel sorry for the title favourites.