When Chelsea met Wolfsberger AC (i.e. WAC) almost exactly to the day two years ago, in the 2014-15 pre-season, we learned that the "pellets" in RZ Pellets WAC actually stood for a pellet-making company who sponsor the team and thus get to put their name in their name so that you can use their name to name their name.
We also learned that WAC are a resilient bunch after a 1-1 draw against a youthful Chelsea side that featured a star turn from Jeremie Boga and very little else of note. But, preseason opponents who've had a head start on pre-season when compared with Chelsea do tend to be resilient bunches. Especially when the squad are still trying to work their way into match fitness, all the while trying to pick up new ideas from a new head coach. Another 1-1 draw would in fact be an improvement over our first pre-season match this summer, the 2-0 loss to Rapid Vienna.
Of course, the results don't quite matter, even if Conte adamantly claims that he doesn't like to lose these things either. We should of course believe him, but we should also assume that he and everyone else is placing the greatest emphasis on the aforementioned fitness and tactical issues.
So, let's work on those. And maybe score a goal or two?
Date / Time: Wednesday, July 20, 2016, 19:00 BST; 2pm EDT; 11:30pm IST
Venue: Wörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt, Austria
Referee: Will be present
Forecast: Hot and heavy and humid, possible thunderstorms.
On TV: Chelsea TV (UK); elsewhere
Streaming online: Chelsea TV (int'l) — Chelsea TV's Fan Club Plus login gateway crumbled under demand on Saturday, so they threw open the gates and made the whole thing free to view for everyone. My guess is they will (have to) do the same for this one, so you won't have to hunt down sketchy, illegal or grey market streams. But just in case, show up early and get the login sorted before the rush.
RZ Pellets WAC team news: Since we last saw them, Wolfsberger have finished 5th and 6th, smack dab in the middle of the pack of the Austrian Bundesliga. Nine members of the starting lineup from the 2014 friendly remain, including leading goalscorer Tadej Trdina. Former Chelsea trainee Philipp Prosenik recently arrived on loan from our previous pre-season opponents, Rapid Vienna.
WAC are currently managed by former Austrian international Heimo Pfeifenberger.
Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in England [...] We are all looking forward very much to this match, which will be a very special game not only for the club but for all WAC fans.
-Heimo Pfeifenberger; source: RZ Pellets WAC via Google Translate
Chelsea team news: The squad is now up to 30, with Michy Batshuayi coming back early from vacation and a quintet of Euro 2016 participants returning yesterday as well. Given their short time in camp, I would not expect Fàbregas, Pedro, Azpilicueta, Cuadrado, and Cahill feature in this one just yet.
While the main aim will be match fitness and team cohesion, one thing to watch for will be whether any of the supposedly preferred 4-2-4 pops up again as it did towards the end of the match on Saturday. Arguably, it may have been there from the start, even, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek's first audition for the second striker role went pretty badly.
Previously: Here's the aforementioned star turn from Jeremie Boga in the friendly two years ago (plus other highlights). Boga is currently gearing up for pre-season with La Liga's Granada, where he's set to spend the season on loan.