It's been two months and four days since the curtains dropped on the 2013-14 season and Chelsea walked off the Cardiff City stadium pitch, finishing a perhaps somewhat disappointing third in the Premier League (especially considering where we stood a few weeks prior).
But that's all in the past now; it's time to start getting ready for winning some trophies this year. The Premier League starts in a month (plus two extra days if you're lucky enough to have had your match pushed back to a rather inconvenient Monday night) and the preseason schedule starts today.
So, time to sit back, relax, and enjoy as some of the senior squad and many of the top youngsters in the club work on match fitness and mental sharpness against League Two opposition. And while it's important that we develop that extra bit of winning mentality and killer instinct that was missing last season, it's also important to not freak out should that not get demonstrated straight away in the preseason friendlies where the actual results really do not matter one bit.
Date/Time: Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 19.45 BST; 2:45pm EDT; 12:15am IST (next day)
Venue: Adams Park, High Wycombe, England
Forecast: A nice, dry, warm-ish summer night.
On TV: none
Online: Chelsea TV
(UK & Ireland only)
Wycombe Wanderers Team News: After winning their first preseason match 3-2 a few days ago, Wycombe will play in front of their fans for the first time this season. Ex-Spurs and Canaries defender, Irish international Gary Doherty may be a familiar name to us as well. New signings Peter Murphy, Joe Jacobson, Paul Hayes, and Aaron Pierre are expected to play. I once went to high school with a kid named Peter Murphy. I don't think it's the same guy, but you never know.
But here is what it's all about for Wycombe, honoring a man who's played at the lower league club for a decade now (324 club appearances) -- a true rarity nowadays.
Chelsea Team News: With the majority of the seniors still on post-World Cup vacation, the current 25-man first-team squad comprises of a lot of fresh, young faces. Our pal @chelseayouth has been keeping a close eye on words and pictures from Cobham and he reckons the squad shapes up as such for this trip:
Goalkeepers: Mark Schwarzer, Jamal Blackman, Mitchell Beeney, Matej Delac, Petr Cech (back in training, but probably not ready)
Defenders: John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Kurt Zouma, Nathan Ake, Todd Kane, Andreas Christensen, Jay Dasilva
Midfielders: Nemanja Matic, Oriol Romeu, Marco van Ginkel, Lewis Baker, John Swift, Nathaniel Chalobah, Mario Pasalic
Attackers: Mohamed Salah, Lucas Piazon, Patrick Bamford, Jeremie Boga, Isaiah Brown, Dominic Solanke, Demba Ba (trained yesterday despite Besiktas news)
Delac and Pasalic may face work permit issues due to the friendly being played in front of paying fans. Meanwhile, Islam Feruz and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (and probably Josh McEachran, too) are with the U21s, while Ryan Bertrand and Patrick van Aanholt are essentially out the door already. The whereabouts of Gael Kakuta are not quite known at the moment.
Previously: Competitively, the two sides have only ever met twice, and if you watched the video above you'll already know the occasion. First leg extended highlights can be seen here (note Wycombe's manager, by the way), while the much happier second leg highlights are nowhere to be found (except for this Lampard goal). We've met at least once before in preseason as well, a rather memorable occasion, that, for one Yossi Benayoun.