Former Chelsea defender tells Graham to play defensive football against Crystal Palace

Photo: Chelsea FC

Former Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot has told Chelsea boss Graham Potter to play a cautious game against Crystal Palace.

Potter is set for his first Premier League game in charge of Chelsea, and Melchiot doesn’t think Chelsea should go all out attacking at Selhurst Park.

“I feel like Potter is not the guy who wants to dictate the game away from home,” Melchiot told ESPN FC.

“Knowing Patrick Vieira, he wants to win. If Chelsea can sit back, and they are comfortable in sitting back, the way Potter likes to play, he does not mind hitting them on the break.

“Especially going to that stadium, it is always tough. It’s not an easy one. When you go there, it’s never your favourite place to play.

“They get so much support behind them. Potter knows if he sits back and hits them on the break he can use it to his advantage.

“We all know they have [Wilfried] Zaha in their team, he is the focal point and he always wants to get the crowd going.

“As long as Chelsea can control the game for 90 minutes, I feel it can be Potter’s first win.”

Pressed on if Chelsea will really sit back at Selhurst Park, Melchiot added: “Yes. And I’m going to tell you why.

“Chelsea, away from home, I don’t expect them to go out there and start firing.

“People see Chelsea and think they will control, they will dictate the tempo, they will take the ball, they will play [good] football, no.

“Last time I saw Chelsea, I didn’t look at them like that. Potter is working to build his team to the way he wants to play [first].

“People say Palace are a smaller team. Please guys, don’t get surprised [if they win] because they can really surprise you when you go there.”