As football dies another ruinous death, we have another football match to play. Regardless of what happens with The Super League, Champions League, or Centricus League, the original cartel league that is the Premier League continues to rumble on to its 2021 conclusion, with Chelsea still well in the fight for the top three or four places.
Those places may not necessarily means as much as we might have thought just a few short days ago, but it’s still better to finish higher in the table than lower — prestige, pride, prize money. After all, we had football leagues even before the (sometimes poisonous) carrot of European qualification being dangled in front of an increasing number of teams.
The doomsayers might claim that the attempted The Super League revolution will destroy domestic competition as well, but that’s extremely unlikely to happen once cooler heads start prevailing.
In any case, it’s Chelsea, so I’m watching.
Date / Time: Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 20.00 BST; 3pm EDT; 12.30am IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Stuart Attwell (on pitch); Kevin Friend (VAR)
Forecast: Spring Super League sunshine
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); none (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); SuperSport Premier League, Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); Peacock (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA) — like The Super League (or “a” super league), Peacock is the future. It’s not the best (poor UI, lag, etc.), but it’s what we’ve got. Comcast Xfinity customers get it for free (still counts against your data). Others have to pay $5/month or $50/year ($10 & $100 for the premium ad-free version). Comcast is the parent company of NBC and an investor in Vox/SB Nation. Here’s our affiliate link if you want to make our corporate money-lords happy.
Chelsea team news: Mateo Kovacic is out. Thiago Silva is probably getting a rest. Andreas Christensen should be good to return. There’s a fan protest planned for prior to kick-off.
Supporters will be heading to The Bridge tomorrow from 5.30 to make their voices heard in the absence of being inside the ground— WE ARE THE SHED (@WeAre_TheShed) April 19, 2021
This is not aimed at the team but the board
Take banners, take signs but remain socially distant & wear a face covering if you can #FuckSuperLeague
Should Chelsea win, we would move not only above fourth place West Ham, but at least temporarily above even third place Leicester City, who play on Thursday.
Brighton team news: Brighton are in no danger of having to worry about Super League or Champions League, but if they’re not careful, they could get sucked back into the relegation battle. They are currently six points clear of the drop, with two matches-in-hand over Fulham. Resurgent West Brom are however just nine points behind, with seven games still to go. After going unbeaten in six a couple months ago, Brighton have lost 4 of their last 7.
Former Chelsea prospect Tariq Lamptey was lost for the season last month with a serious hamstring problem. Solly March, Florin Andone, and Percy Tau are all expected to miss out as well, but Aaron Connolly should be back.
Previously: This will be only the 16th meeting all time between the two sides. Brighton won the first ever, back in 1933. Chelsea have not lost any of the 15 since, winning 12, including earlier in the first match of this season, 3-1.