The real thing starts in two weeks. Until then, here's more fakery.
The International Champions Cup visual effects will be beamed directly into your eyeballs and earballs from Charlotte, NC this time around. I once sat on the tarmac of Charlotte international airport for two hours, waiting for a thunderstorm to pass. And since I was stuck inside an airplane, it was not very much fun at all. I hate you, Charlotte.
Our opponents will be once harmless Paris Saint-Germain. Recently, they've become far more annoying, but since they're not the 16-year-old honey badgers hopped up on testosterone and Red Bull of New York Red Bulls II, we might even have a chance of winning.
If you care, that is. It's all fake anyway. The cake is a lie.
Date / Time: Saturday, July 25, 2015, 23:00 BST; 6pm EDT; 3:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC, USA
Forecast: Normal for the year, i.e. HOT! Dropping towards comfortable as the night wears on, with relatively low humidity.
On TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK); Fox Sports 2, ESPN Deportes (USA); Star Sports 4 / HD 4 (India)
Online: Sky Go, Chelsea TV (UK); Fox Soccer 2Go, Watch ESPN (USA)
PSG Team News: This will be PSG's fourth preparatory match already, so they're perhaps a touch ahead of where we are in terms of match fitness and general season readiness. Though many of their South American starts only joined up recently after extended vacations. For David Luiz, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, and Edinson Cavani, the Chelsea match will be their first involvement of the preseason.
Ex-Spurs spare part Benjamin Stambouli and backup goalkeeper Kevin Trapp (formerly of Eintracht Frankfurt) are the two new faces in the squad, while the one significant loss since we last them has been Yohan Cabaye, who's gone back to England to reunite with Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace (and supply many assists, hopefully, for our boy Patrick Bamford).
Manager Laurent Blanc called this matchup a "nice twist of fate" and said he expects a nice open, entertaining game. You hear that, David Luiz? Be nice! Good boy.
Chelsea Team News: Mourinho stressed that all he cares about is that we play better than in the second half against New York Red Bulls, and that it matters not that we're facing PSG again so soon after that debacle of a draw at Stamford Bridge in March. Most of the players echoed these sentiments. True revenge cannot be gained in a fake/friendly match anyway.
Just like PSG, our Copa America reinforcements have arrived, minus one Filipe Luis who apparently got on the wrong flight and ended up back in Madrid instead. Oops. Old habits and such. But, Falcao, Juan Cuadrado, and most importantly, Willian are all here now, and ready to get to work.
Previously: Three years ago, we met PSG in a friendly in the USA. The managers were Roberto Di Matteo and Carlo Ancelotti. David Luiz played for the good guys. Our starting lineup included Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne. Sometimes, things can change very quickly in football. We drew 1-1 that day; that scoreline may not be all the different from tonight's encounter.