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A friendly preview: Eintracht Frankfurt v. Chelsea

The what: Preseason friendly, 3 of 4 – Eintracht Frankfurt v. Chelsea
The where: Commerzbank-Arena (52,300)
The when: August 1, 3:30pm local time (10:30am EST)
The how: ChelseaTV, online streaming (, etc.)


Die Adler ---
Eintracht are much further along in their preparation for the upcoming season. And rightfully so - the club only begins its Bundesliga campaign a week after we open Premier League play. Explain that one. The visit of Chelsea will represent SGE's seventh friendly of the preseason, the previous six all wins.
To watch: 1. Theofanis Gekas. The Greek striker moved to the club prior to the World Cup. You may remember his total of 10 goals in World Cup qualifying was unmatched. 2. Ricardo Clark. The American midfielder is likely to see minutes, if any of our stateside brethren are interested in what Clark has been up to since folding against Ghana.
Worthless Info: 18-year-old forward Marcos Alvarez was the first Bundesliga player to be stricken with the H1N1 virus, in November 2009. The SWINE.

CFC ---
In (travelling squad): Hilario, Ross Turnbull, Sam Walker, Jeffrey Bruma, John Terry, Michael Mancienne, Patrick van Aanholt, Paulo Ferreira, Ashley Cole, Ricardo Carvalho, Branislav Ivanovic, Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel, Nemanja Matic, Yury Zhirkov, Florent Malouda, Yossi Benayoun, Josh McEachran, Scott Sinclair, Salomon Kalou, Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba, Fabio Borini
Out: Ryan Bertrand, Jack Cork, Franco Di Santo
Unfit: Petr Cech, Jose Bosingwa, Alex, Deco, Daniel Sturridge (ankle)
Late: Lampard (illness), Kakuta (U19)

The first to catch the eye is that of Didier Drogba. A surprise no doubt to see the Mighty One back in the squad so soon after a hernia procedure. He will not figure in Frankfurt, but Ancelotti - as seen below - revealed he expects to use the imperious striker against Hamburg. Excellent. More excellent? The fact that Ancelotti expects Petr Cech to be fit enough to feature in the Community Shield on Aug. 8. Word.

The second thing one would notice is those left out of the travelling squad - Bertrand, Cork and Di Santo. Bad luck, lads. This would almost certainly suggest the trio will be leaving Stamford Bridge, in some form, over the next couple of weeks. Can't say I'm too worried with the departure of Di Santo, who has done absolutely nothing to dispel the notion that he is simply not of the quality required. Bertand and Cork, meanwhile, are different stories altogether. Bertrand has impressed this preseason, but, to be fair, has little chance of unseating Van Aanholt. Perhaps another loan deal is in order? Such scenario seems unlikely for Cork, though there have been rumors suggesting he could end up at Swansea City. Cork is a very sound player - exemplified by his spell at Burnley at the close of last season - and would appear an economical option in our depth-strapped midfield. But I digress.

Then, you might ask yourself, 'How in the hell did Sinclair make the cut?' You would not be alone in this sentiment.

Probable XI
(I haven't a clue)

Ferreira-EBALJT-Van Aanholt-A. Cole

Quote: "(Drogba) is in good condition, he has recovered well from surgery so he will be able to play the next game (against Hamburg). Yeah it is very good he is doing very well. All our squad is improving our condition and I think we will be ready for the start of the season. All the players in Germany will play tomorrow maybe only 45 minutes, but against Hamburg I want to put out the line-up that will play against Manchester United. Petr Cech is good, I think he will be fit for the game against Manchester United. I think that all the players will be fit against Manchester United and only (Jose) Bosingwa needs more time to be fit." - King Carlo, to Sky Sports

Lastly: Everyone's favorite assistant, Ray Wilkins, revealed a few days ago that each player would see at least 45 minutes in Germany. How true the club stays to that remains to be seen, but that would great news. Kakuta and Lampard will join up with the club later in the trip. Lampard has an unspecified illness, while Kakuta is fresh off helping France to the UEFA European Under-19 Championship. The young Kakuta should be fresh in minds, and I would expect to see a fair share of him. Please. I don't care if he is fatigued. Just a few minutes would do me. I'm rambling.

Anyway. Join me for tomorrow's Rant Box, and let's see if we can produce a much improved display from the one we saw in Amsterdam.


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