Could this be Callum Hudson-Odoi’s final appearance in a Chelsea shirt for a while? The young midfielder may be Bundesliga bound. Here’s Jacob Steinberg with all the latest from behind the curtain at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea make four changes to the XI picked for the League Cup defeat at Tottenham. Out go Fikayo Tomori, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud; in come Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante, Kai Havertz and serial Palace-botherer Tammy Abraham, who has three goals in his last four against the Eagles.
Palace are unchanged. Roy Hodgson names the same team that lost 2-1 at home to Everton.
at 7.03am EDT
Chelsea: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Zouma, Chilwell, Kante, Jorginho, Hudson-Odoi, Havertz, Werner, Abraham.
Subs: Arrizabalaga, Pulisic, Tomori, Kovacic, Giroud, Mount, James.
Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Kouyate, Sakho, Mitchell, Townsend, McCarthy, McArthur, Eze, Ayew, Zaha.
Subs: Milivojevic, Dann, Meyer, Hennessey, Benteke, Kelly, Riedewald.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).
Crystal Palace don’t have a great recent record against Chelsea: they’ve lost the last five meetings. In that sense, this looks every inch the home banker. But things are never quite that simple, are they.
For a start, Chelsea have yet to convince this season. Fair enough with so many new faces to slot in, and a couple of big names missing injured to boot, but whatever the justification, the performances are what they are. Curate’s eggs the lot of them: an uneven win at Brighton, a comprehensive home defeat to Liverpool that nevertheless hinged on a scuffed one-on-one and a missed penalty; that topsy-turvy 3-3 thriller at West Brom. Good luck correctly predicting which Chelsea will turn up today. All available evidence suggests the smart money goes on both.
The same could be said for Palace, who have been OK at home against Southampton and Everton, with varying results, but spectacularly good at Old Trafford, where their 3-1 win flattered Manchester United. Making a confident call on this lunchtime’s performance looks another fool’s errand. Especially as their star man Wilfred Zaha has scored in a win at Stamford Bridge before, three years ago, a little bit of positive history that will give Palace succour in the face of that five-match losing sequence.
This is set up rather nicely, then, with a big Chelsea win and a Palace shock both realistic outcomes, as well as everything in between. Fun times lie ahead, and we haven’t even considered Frank Lampard’s touchline hairtrigger going off yet again. Bielsa, Klopp, Mourinho … he won’t have a go at good old Roy, will he? Surely not. But the match … it’s on!
Kick off: 12.30pm BST.
at 6.28am EDT