Chelsea FC announced via the club’s official website that they will be taking part in four preseason friendlies across Europe including Germany and Austria. The club usually partakes in a tour of the United States or Asia as part of the preseason but just like the summer of the last World Cup, Chelsea have decided to stick to Europe.
The first friendly is against Austrian first division team RZ Pellets WAC, followed by a trip to Slovenia to face NK Olimpija Ljubljana, and finally trips to Holland and Germany to play Vitesse Arnhem and Werder Bremen. Vitesse is seen as Chelsea’s feeder club and many youngsters from the Blues’ setup get sent on loan there to get regular first team action.
Here is the statement from the Chelsea official website:
We will take on RZ Pellets WAC, NK Olimpija Ljubljana, Vitesse Arnhem and Werder Bremen – in Austria, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Germany – with Jose Mourinho’s squad set to embark on a continental training camp ahead of the new season.
Our first game of the trip, which has been organised and implemented by Match IQ, will be against RZ Pellets WAC on Wednesday 23 July at the Klagenfurt Stadium in Klagenfurt. RZ Pellets WAC are a top-flight Austrian team, having been promoted in 2012, and came seventh in the season just finished. The Klagenfurt Stadium hosted three games at EURO 2008.
We will then play NK Olimpija Ljubljana, who finished seventh in the Slovenian league, on Sunday 27 July at the 16,000-capacity Stozice Stadium in the nation’s capital. Kick-off is yet to be confirmed.
On Wednesday 30 July, Vitesse Arnhem are our hosts at the Arnhem Stadium in the Netherlands. Kick-off will be 7.30pm local time, against a side which finished sixth in last season’s Eredivisie.
The fourth game in Europe will be against Werder Bremen on Sunday 3 August at the Wesser Stadium in Germany, with a 5pm local time kick-off. We played Werder in the 2006/07 Champions League group stage, losing 1-0 in Germany. Their playing squad includes Franco Di Santo. Werder finished 12th in the Bundesliga this season.
While this year’s list of preseason friendlies are not as enticing as years past, the focus may be on getting the players at the World Cup rest and giving the team time to bond and gel as a unit rather than a test against top-level competition. We will likely some youngsters getting more minutes than usual which should make for some exciting viewing for Chelsea fans everywhere.
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