As far as I can tell, Chelsea have never played a team from Slovenia before or (before 1991) from the Slovenian part of Yugoslavia before. Making history once again!
Which is not to be confused with making up history, which NK Olimpija Ljubljana seem to be doing on their club crest. It's a pretty cool one, to be fair, with a green, fire-breathing dragon lording over the scene and the year 1911 stamped proudly in the center. One would assume this is their foundation year, but NK Olimpija is actually just the renamed NK Bežigrad (est. 2005). The original NK Olimpija went defunct earlier that year, and the new guys just kind of appropriated that history without official recognition from the Football Association of Slovenia. To add further spice to the tale, the original NK Olimpija were established in 1945 and appropriated the history of a club called ND Ilirija (est. 1911), the oldest in the land. This act is also unrecognized by the authorities, which, considering that Ilirija still exist (and play in the third division) is highly unsurprising. But go on, put that 1911 on the dragon crest.
What's all that got to do with tonight's friendly? Not a thing. Here are a few things that do have something to do with tonight's friendly then.
Date / Time: Sunday, July 27, 2014, 16:15 BST; 11:15am EDT; 8:45pm IST
Venue: Stadion Stožice, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Forecast: Warm, humid, 50% chance of thunderstorms. Fun!
On TV: Chelsea TV (UK); elsewhere
Online: Chelsea TV
NK Olimpija Ljubljana team news: Much like our Austrian opposition on Wednesday, NK Olimpija have already started their season proper and are coming off of a season-opening win. Though I'd much rather not have to rely on that excuse if they give us the runaround like RZ Pellets WAC did at times.
After finishing runners-up in back-to-back seasons, Olimpija slumped to a 7th place finish last season. Their leading scorer and star of the welcome video was midfielder Nik Omladič. Other than that, I have no idea who these guys are. They do look quite young, on average.
Chelsea team news: Ok, this time, we're going to get to see Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas and Cesar Azpilicueta, right? (And Fernando Torres, too, I'm sure. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy.) Wonder if Didier's going to be there.
Previously: As far as Slovenian connections in general, Nathan Aké won the Euro U17 Championship here in this stadium in 2012 as the Dutch captain. Chelsea were supposedly in a youth team partnership with NK Maribor and we supposedly even signed a prospect once (Emir Dautovic), but I'm fairly certain all that turned out to be mostly idle speculation. About the closest real link is this amusing error from the Telegraph, which claimed that Nemanja Matic was signed from Slovenia instead of Slovakia. As someone who was born in the latter, I cannot tell you how often this mistake gets made. In fact, it's not really amusing at all. It's been five years, Telegraph, fix your headline!