Whilst the Chelsea team’s body clocks revert to Greenwich meantime following their American escapades, Roberto Di Matteo and his men return to a sense of normality with an away preseason fixture with Brighton & Hove Albion preceding what has become a familiar curtain raiser for the Blues’ in recent years, the Community Shield on the 12th of August. Former Chelsea midfield dynamo Gus Poyet has been entrusted and so far, delivered in the expansion and progression of Brighton. A concentrate first season in the Championship following promotion as League 1 champions the year before leaving the outspoken Uruguayan with quite a reputation as an upcoming young manager. You can follow Chelsea’s betting odds via Betfair Premier League.
The Blues’ transoceanic tour saw the European champions entertain Seattle, Paris Saint–Germain, AC Milan and a MLS elite XI, was characterised with inconsistent results, a consistency of Chelsea’s recent preseason tours. With Roberto Di Matteo about to embark on his first full season as chief at Stamford Bridge, it is becoming that clear the blend and synthesis of the Italian’s mind’s eye will soon materialize. Latest Chelsea FC news.
Possession and control was pleasing against Milan, whilst fans will be keen to see a bridge being built higher up the park with Romelu Lukaku often left isolated. The way in which Chelsea have invested in influential midfielders Hazard, Marin and Oscar, not to mention the return of Juan Mata to come, this will surely be addressed. The cluster of second half substitutes could be said to be accountable for the way in which we conceded, Emanuelson was actually offside and could only stroke home after Cech’s initial save. Either way, the 90 minutes in Miami was another step up to gaining full fitness, the beginning of Fernando Torres’ preseason also noteworthy.
From the vice and heat of Miami, to the Great British alternative; the rock and pier of East Sussex seaside town, Brighton.
Brighton & Hove Albion are a team on the ascendancy, with a brand new stadium and promising first campaign in the Championship, the Seagulls are growing in stature on the south coast. Playing dynamic, attractive football under Poyet has won the Uruguayan plaudits after instilling an attacking philosophy at the Amex since taking over in 2009. Poyet managed to tempt midfield general and ex Spanish international Rodriguez Vicente to the seaside town last summer. Vicente, who notched up 9 assists last campaign, last lined up against the Blues for Valencia in a bore draw Champions’ league match in 2007, where on that day the Spaniard was replaced by a young Juan Mata. Top scorer Ashley Barnes netted 14 times last season for the Seagulls, whilst the club has recently announced the loan signing of ex Chelsea full back Wayne Bridge. It is over 8 years since Bridge scored that famous goal at Highbury, how time flies.
How Chelsea set up for the match is anybody’s guess. With Torres lacking game time, one would hope the Chelsea forward is in line for his first start of preseason. Terry and David Luiz are expected to remain the heart of the Blues’ back four, with either Ivanovic or young Sam Hutchinson taking up that right back position. From left to right, the midfield seems the headache for Di Matteo. Lampard, Ramires, Essien and Mikel all capable of playing in the middle of the park, whilst Raul Meireles, Marko Marin, Eden Hazard and Malouda in contention to start further ahead in a 4–2–3–1 formation. My guess is that Mikel and Lampard will again anchor, whilst RDM will go for Ramires, Marin and Hazard ahead of both Malouda and Essien, whom seem increasingly expendable, considering we still have Sturridge, Oscar and Mata to link up with the squad.
Chelsea players featured in the second round of matches at the London games’ at the weekend, with Daniel Sturridge and new boy Oscar goal scorers for their respective teams, Great Britain and Brazil. Sturridge, a half time substitute for Stuart Pearce’s men, announced himself on the Olympic stage with a Ramires–esque chip from outside the box in Team GB’s 3–1 win over UAE. Ryan Bertrand dropped to the bench following his involvement against Senegal. Oscar capped a fine performance in the heart of the Brazilian midfield with a cool finish in injury time following great work by Neymar as Brazil strolled to a 3–1 win against Belarus. Juan Mata and Oriol Romeu however will be returning to Cobham sooner than expected, the joint pretournament favourites Spain eliminated following their second defeat, a shock 1–0 loss to Honduras. By the time the Brighton game rolls around both Team GB and Brazil may be quarter finalists, with final group games being played on Wednesday 1st August.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Chelsea kicks off at 3pm, Saturday 4th August.
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