The first of three matches on the pre-season tour of the US, part of the grandly named “World Series of Football”.
Jose Mourinho has a squad of twenty-five players in the States, and the only two likely to be unavailable for selection are Wayne Bridge, still recovering from his broken ankle, and Ricardo Carvalho, still not being risked after his shoulder surgery in the summer.
Drogba, Huth and Geremi returned to training later than the rest of the squad and may not be ready to play a part.
Hernan Crespo will play in a Chelsea Blue strip for the first time in over a year. The majority of us probably thought he’d be lining up for the oppositon tonight given his successful time in Italy last season — but football is full of surprises and the Argentinian international will be plying his trade in the Premiership once again, hopefully with a great deal of success. Mourinho certainly believes he’ll score many goals.
New signing Shaun Wright-Phillips should feature at some point, probably in his preferred right wing role. I cannot wait to see him play for The Blues.
The manager has made it clear that a vigorous pre-season training regime will necessitate a number of changes throughout the match, and that he intends to use all available players, some for sixty minutes, some for forty-five.
As for a scoreline — your guess is as good as mine. It could be a boring pre-season 0-0 or a repeat of last year’s Champions World Series match in which we went 2-1 up before eventually losing 3-2. I’ll push the boat out and go for a 2-2 draw.
The match kicks off at midnight BST and is live on Chelsea TV and online for a one-off fee of £2.99.
Our next match is against DC United, the champions of Major League Soccer, on Thursday, followed by a repeat of tonight’s encounter next Sunday.
Chelsea 1 – 0 AC Milan · Match Reports
A thirteenth-minute strike by an influential Arjen Robben won the match.
Chelsea were impressive against a poor AC Milan and should’ve scored several more goals.
Shaun Wright-Phillips made his debut in the second half and put in a great performance.
Proper reports: Official Chelsea FC Website, ESPNSoccernet, Channel4, Sky Sports, ITV Football, BBC Sport.