5 mins: The first shot of the game is completely ludicrous, a volley from Mount from an unpromising position to the right of the penalty area that misses the target by an enormous margin.
5 mins: Hudson-Odoi crosses to Pulisic, who goes over under Ward’s challenge. I’d expect Chelsea to appeal for a penalty there, but they didn’t, so they don’t get one.
2 mins: The ball gets a bit stuck on the left side of Palace’s defence, bouncing between members of the two teams but always within the same few square metres.
The players are on their way out! Just an anthem and a two-minute silence stand between us and football.
Chelsea have made three changes to the team that beat Porto in midweek, with Christensen, James and Werner dropping out and Zouma, Hudson-Odoi and Pulisic coning in. Crystal Palace are unchanged, but James McCarthy is back after a few games out with injury, and on the bench.
Liverpool have just scored a lovely stoppage-time probable winner against Aston Villa. Rob Smyth has the latest here:
I know what you’re saying: who on earth is Rak-Sakyi? Jesurun Rak-Sakyi is an 18-year-old described on Crystal Palace’s website as “a talented attacking wideman who previously represented Chelsea” and has been “described by manager Roy Hodgson as having ‘a big future’”.
Team news is in, and you can work it out for yourselves from this list of names:
Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Kouyate, Cahill, Van Aanholt, Ayew, Milivojevic, Riedewald, Eze, Benteke, Zaha. Subs: Butland, Dann, Townsend, Mateta, Schlupp, McCarthy, Mitchell, Kelly, Rak-Sakyi.
Chelsea: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chilwell, Mount, Pulisic, Havertz. Subs: Arrizabalaga, Alonso, Kante, Abraham, Werner, Giroud, Ziyech, James, Emerson Palmieri.
Referee: Michael Oliver.
Chelsea did the double over Crystal Palace last year, and also the year before that, and they won their home game against them 4-0 in October. None of this sounds like good news for Roy Hodgson’s brave charges, and then there’s the fact that Crystal Palace have only won one of their last five games (against West Brom), while Chelsea have only lost one of their last five games (also against West Brom). Still, probably worth playing it out, for the sake of sporting decency.
Some team news: Michy Batshuayi is unable to spent the entire match on Crystal Palace’s bench because they are playing his parent club (he has, to be fair, actually played six minutes in their last six games, and that was in their last one, and he scored, so he might have seen some more action this evening had he only been allowed). Chelsea have a fully fit squad to choose from, but Thiago Silva is suspended following last week’s comedy red card and there might be some Champions League-related tiredness or distraction – the other English clubs still in Europe’s premier competition have both had dodgy days. Can Chelsea avoid the trap? Time to find out!