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Chelsea, Arsenal confirm preseason friendly in July at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing

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Blues and Gunners at the Bird’s Nest

Chelsea won’t have to wait until 2021 (or whenever the new digs at Stamford Bridge will be ready) to play their next game in a Herzog & de Meuron-designed stadium.

On July 22nd later this year, Chelsea will play Arsenal at the iconic Bird’s Nest in Beijing as part of the 2017-18 preseason. Given the prospect of an earlier start to the league next season due to the 2018 World Cup, this might be our second or even third week of preseason. (Let’s not make any silly mistakes this time like giving players an extra week off like in 2015, shall we?)

Chelsea’s official announcement is light on pertinent detail, but judging by Arsenal’s three-match schedule for their tour of Australia and Asia, we can probably expect something similar from the Blues as well. Though maybe not Australia, given that we already confirmed a preseason friendly for 2018 in Perth!

Previous rumors claimed that Chelsea were looking to tour China and Japan (as part of the annual International Champions’ Cup). Half of that has now come true; presumably the other half will be confirmed in due time as well.

(Minus points to the first person to make the “hand-deliver Costa to the Chinese” joke.)