Maurizio Sarri believes Chelsea are not good enough defensively to be considered Premier League title contenders but insisted he will not ask the club to solve the problem by spending in the January transfer window. 3-1 to Chelsea.
It wasn't until Sarri summoned Hazard and Mateo Kovacic from the bench in the 64th minute that Chelsea took control.
The coach who has overseen ten successive unbeaten games thus far has the chance of equalling a Premier League record unbeaten run at the start of his tenure.
The Blues will be looking to maintain their undefeated start to the season but will face a tough test against Crystal Palace who has seemingly turned a corner following their 2-2 draw against Arsenal last time out.
The same is true of seven of Chelsea's 10 matches, indicating that they too tend to do much of their best work when teams tire late on.
FW Willian, 6 - This was his 11th start in a row and while he generally looks more risky cutting in from the left flank, there was a noticeable lack of pop and imagination in his play against Palace's massed defensive ranks.More news: The animal species in fastest decline around the world
After joining Chelsea in August 2012, Moses was farmed out on loan to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham United before the arrival of The Blues' former manager, Antonio Conte. Zaha has recovered in time for the game.
In attack, the good news is that Eden Hazard is available.
Wilfried Zaha missed Palace's defeat to Middlesbrough in midweek due to a shoulder injury but is expected to return for the game at Stamford Bridge, though Connor Wickham, Christian Benteke, Scott Dann and Joel Ward are all out.
18+ only. Ts&Cs apply. Any fears that Chelsea would struggle to import Sarri's style of football from Naples appear to have been unfounded: 15 games in, they are still unbeaten.
Key Stat: Both teams have scored in the past three meetings between Chelsea and Crystal Palace.
Chelsea will hope that Morata can continue to show the form as the difference-making striker for whom paid £60 million last summer.
As Sarrismo has Chelsea applying constant pressure on opposition defences, the Blues have nearly always managed to get at exhausted opponents as the game goes on - as shown with Barkley's 96th-minute equaliser against Manchester United.