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Chelsea confirm first two preseason matches, training camp in Austria

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Joern Pollex

Since the Austrians let the cat out of the bag already yesterday (for the second friendly) and a couple weeks ago (for the first one), there was nothing left for Chelsea but to also confirm the two preseason matches and the preseason training camp in Austria.

On July 16th, in Antonio Conte's first game in charge, Chelsea will play in Vienna, in the first ever game at Rapid Wien's brand new stadium.  Austria's biggest club (though they hadn't won the league in almost a decade thanks to Red Bull-financed Salzburg) count former Chelsea trainee Philipp Prosenik among their numbers.

On July 20th, Chelsea will play in Klagenfurt, in a rematch of the preseason 1-1 draw from 2014 against Wolfsberger AC (RZ Pellets WAC).  The boys will spend that whole week in the picturesque region, just like two years ago, staying and training in Velden am Worthersee.  That worked out excellently back then, so perhaps will serve as a good omen this year, too.

Following the conclusion of the training camp, Chelsea will still head off to America to play three friendlies on the West Coast and the Midwest as part of the International Champions Cup.  There was some doubt about these fixtures thanks to a possible conflict with Europa League qualifying round fixtures, but I don't think that's a realistic worry at this point.  Plus, if miraculously push does come to shove, we have enough youth and loanees to send several squads as it is.

So, the preseason schedule so far looks like this:

July 16:  Rapid Wien vs. Chelsea (Vienna, Austria)
July 20:  RZ Pellets WAC vs. Chelsea (Klagenfurt, Austria)
July 28:  Chelsea vs. Liverpool (Pasadena, CA, USA)
July 30:  Chelsea vs. Real Madrid (Ann Arbor, MI, USA)
August 4:  Chelsea vs. AC Milan (Minneapolis, MN, USA)

All games will be broadcast on Chelsea TV, though the three ICC ones will only be available in UK/Ireland thanks to rights restrictions.  The Premier League season will start on August 13, so there's a possibility of adding at least one more game to the schedule, perhaps a home friendly at the Bridge as has become the habit in recent seasons?