It's one of those things that you look forward to for weeks and months and yet still sneaks up on you when it happens. Chelsea are about to kick off the first match of preseason 2016-17.
It will be the inaugural match played at SK Rapid's brand new stadium.
Welcome to the Antonio Conte era!
Date / Time: Saturday, July 16, 2016, 17:00 BST; 12pm EDT; 9:30pm IST
Venue: Allianz Stadion, Vienna, Austria
Referee: Likely to have one.
Forecast: Sunny with a possible light rain shower or two
On TV: Chelsea TV (UK); Puls 4 (AUT); Sky Sports 1 Italia (ITA); elsewhere
Streaming online: Chelsea TV (int'l) — as this match is not part of the ICC, it should be available to audiences outside of just UK & Ireland. Chelsea TV are allowed to show the match live in countries and territories where a local broadcaster has not bought the rights (rights can be held without ever showing the match, it should be noted).
Rapid Wien team news: Historically, SK Rapid are the most successful club in Austria, but they have not won the domestic title since 2008. Last season they finished second, nine points behind champions Red Bull Salzburg. They have recently announced a new coach, Mike Büskens replacing Zoran Barisic who had been in charge for the previous three season.
There used to one familiar name in SK Rapid's squad (other than Jan Novota, who used to keep goal for my hometown team when he was a bit younger), Philipp Prosenik, a former Chelsea trainee. But he was just sent on loan to Wolfsberger AC, who will be, incidentally, Chelsea's opponents for Wednesday.
SK Rapid have been back to football for almost a month now, thanks to their involvement in the early rounds of the Europa League.
Chelsea team news: Antonio Conte selected 24 men to accompany him for the week in Austria.
Your guess for the very first starting lineup is as good as mine or the Ouija board's or the alphabetti spaghetti soup's. Will be very interesting to see what formation and strategy Conte adopts, too. Though without pre-season star Marko Marin, what hope could we possibly have of a non-fake result?
Previously: This is the first-ever meeting the two sides.