Champions of Europe vs. Champions of Europa: important match or glorified friendly, which one is it? Who knows...
One thing's for sure, we played lots of these types of matches last season and generally were not very good at them: lost the Community Shield rather sadly, lost the Super Cup rather madly, lost the Club World Cup rather badly. So we're back for more punishment, although this time, it's personal.
In fact, there are so many storylines associated with this match that they may just overshadow the match itself. Especially if it turns into a showcase of contrasting "anti-football" styles, with Guardiola's charges doing the tiki-taka dance and Mourinho's soldiers staying smart and patient and looking to take advantage on the counter.
Both managers have spoken of their desire to win and kickstart their new tenures with a trophy. However meaningless it all might be.
Date/Time: Friday, August 30, 2013, 19:45 BST; 2:45pm EDT; 12:15am IST (next day)
Venue/Location: Eden Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
Forecast: Not too warm, not too cold; perfect weather for the Friday night lights
On TV: Sky Sports 1 & ITV 1 (UK); Fox Sports 2 (USA); Ten Action (India); elsewhere
Online: Sky Go (UK); Fox Soccer 2 Go (USA)
Chelsea Squad News: While the squad list published on UEFA's website only included 23 Chelsea boys, it looks like we've taken all 26 members of the squad with us to Prague. So that includes not only Victor Moses (woo!), but team jester Hilario and Tomas Kalas as well, despite the latter very much still recovering from knee surgery. The only ones left behind were the new kids on the block, Willian and Samuel Eto'o.
Besides Kalas, the only other fitness doubt is David Luiz. Or as Mourinho put it, "I believe he is fit, but it's one thing is to be fit and another is to be ready to play."
Bayern Munich Squad News: Guardiola rested many key members of the squad on the weekend, yet things still backfired on him when they failed to not only pick up three points but also lost Bastian Schweinsteiger to injury. Fortunately for the Champions of Europe, their midfield general's not hurt too badly and should be ready for Friday. The squad is further boosted by the return of Javi Martinez who has yet to play this season.
View from the enemy: Bavarian Football Works
Previously: This will be the fourth competitive match between the two sides, but the first one without Didier Drogba, the man who scored for us in each of the previous three. Those three ended in a win (4-2), a loss (2-3), and a draw (1-1) for Chelsea, respectively, but really, that draw was the greatest victory ever.
Their city, their stadium, OUR TROPHY. Teehee.