Hard to believe that the World Cup ended less than a week ago. It feels like a month's worth of stuff has happened in the six days since, with transfer market activity galore (though apparently we're "done" now... right...), training camps in full swing, and preseason matches at all levels (senior, U21, U18) happening left, right, and center.
The first-team squad, which is actually comprised mostly of U21s, got off to a flying start on Wednesday with a comprehensive 5-0 hammering of the Chairboys of Wycombe. Seriously, who names their team the Chairboys? I guess the area's known for furniture making (I'd hope fans get to bring furniture props to matches, WWE style), but it didn't help that I kept reading it as Choirboys. Jokes like those would be inappropriate for this place however.
In any case, we move on from League Two Chairboys to League Two Wombles, who apparently live in burrows on Wimbledon common. Or do the fans prefer Dons still, even though Milton Keynes took that, too? (You should all be familiar with that whole story; if not, read this. Though perhaps a decade on, the status quo is becoming accepted?)
Would it be too much to expect another 5-0? Don't be trying to raise my (preseason) expectations, Jose Mourinho!
Date/Time: Saturday, July 19, 2014, 15.00 BST; 10am EDT; 7.30pm IST
Venue: Kingsmeadow, Kingston upon Thames, London, England, UK, Europe, Earth
Forecast: Warm; possible thunderstorms.
On TV: none (Chelsea TV, if that's available through your TV/satellite provider)
Online: Chelsea TV (seemed to work not just in UK/Ireland last time)
AFC Wimbledon team news: Having barely survived relegation from League Two last season, Wimbledon begin their fourth season in England's fourth tier with no less than twelve new players (eight free transfers plus four Academy products). the biggest of whom, quite literally, is FIFA legend Adebayo BEAST Akinfenwa. 2 Big 2 Play: guaranteed victory! Probably should put out an earthquake warning/advisory for when he goes up against Zouma.
A tenuous connection to Chelsea is midfielder Sammy Moore, who speaks well of the time he was deemed not good enough by the Blues at age 16. Wimbledon are still sponsored by Sports Interactive (i.e. Football Manager), which makes their shirts plenty cool.
Chelsea team news: Pretty much the same squad is expected as for the midweek match, with 18-year-old real Blue Blood midfielder Jordan Houghton taking Demba Ba's spot and impressive Ola Aina taking over for the injured Todd Kane. Get well soon, Toddy!
On a related note, Gael Kakuta has been found and he played for the Chelsea U21s in their friendly against Aldershot Town on Friday (a 3-2 come from behind victory for the good guys). Also involved where Stipe Perica, Patrick van Aanholt, and Billy Clifford, the latter two of whom are expected to leave the club this summer.
Previously: Chelsea and Wimbledon used to meet all the time in the late '80s and early '90s, but there hasn't been a competitive match between the two since the 1999-2000 Premier League season. Chelsea did the double over the Dons that year, George Weah scoring one of his three Premier League goals in the 3-1 win at the Bridge. The two sides famously met in the semifinal of the FA Cup in 1997. Zola scored one, Mark Hughes scored two, as Chelsea went on to beat Middlesborough 2-0 in the final, which included that first minute Di Matteo goal.