Chelsea host Brighton tonight amid the west London club’s controversial plans to become founding members of a new European Super League.
The stunning news has drawn fierce criticism from fans, footballers and politicians alike, with Uefa, the Premier League and even Prime Minister Boris Johnson determined to put a stop to the proposals.
While there are still no fans allowed inside Stamford Bridge for football matches, hundreds turned up to protest outside the ground as coach Thomas Tuchel prepares his sides to host Brighton.
Chelsea head into the match in fifth place, but will go fourth with a draw or a win – though given the news about the Super League, their fight for Champions League qualification now seems a little less important than it did just a few days ago.
WIth kick-off at 8pm BST, follow the action on our live match blog with James Robson at Stamford Bridge.
Our man James Robson is at Stamford Bridge
There are videos emerging on social media which appear to show Chelsea legend Petr Cech attempting to reason with fans and urging them to allow the team bus to enter the ground.
I do find it quite amusing that almost every Premier League game this midweek pits an ESL founder up against one of the remaining 14 clubs.
The crowd outside the ground is swelling all the time, with hundreds of fans now at Stamford Bridge, and we’ve still got over 90 minutes until kick-off.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of reception the teams get when they arrive.
A sentence you never thought you’d read…
More and more fans are arriving outside Stamford Bridge to protest this evening. As with Liverpool’s game against Leeds last night, you suspect the football is going to be secondary.
Fan anger over Super League
There are already some fans protesting outside Stamford Bridge – they’re clearly not happy with the Super League plans.
Early Brighton team news
Striker Aaron Connolly could return to Brighton’s squad following a foot injury. The Republic of Ireland international has not featured since the 1-0 defeat to West Brom on February 27 but has trained freely during the past week.
Defender Tariq Lamptey (hamstring) and winger Solly March (knee) remain sidelined for Albion.
Brighton provisional squad: Sanchez, Steele, White, Webster, Dunk, Veltman, Burn, Karbownik, Bissouma, Gross, Lallana, Propper, Caicedo, Mac Allister, Alzate, Moder, Jahanbakhsh, Izquierdo, Trossard, Maupay, Welbeck, Zeqiri, Tau, Connolly.
Early Chelsea team news
Andreas Christensen will be fit for Chelsea tonight. The Denmark defender has recovered from a muscle problem to be available.
Midfielder Mateo Kovacic remains sidelined with hamstring trouble, while defender Thiago Silva could take a seat on the bench after featuring twice last week.
Chelsea provisional squad: Arrizabalaga, Rudiger, Alonso, Christensen, Jorginho, Silva, Kante, Abraham, Pulisic, Werner, Caballero, Zouma, Mendy, Giroud, Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Chilwell, Ziyech, James, Azpilicueta, Havertz, Palmieri, Gilmour.
Amid all the Super League controversy, it’s worth remembering that there is a game of football tonight. Here’s what you need to know…