Chelsea and Bayern meet for the first time in almost four years, since a Friday night in Prague in late August 2013, when Romelu Lukaku kicked the last ball in anger of his Chelsea career, failing to convert the decisive penalty kick in the shootout that gave Bayern the win in the UEFA Super Cup.
While that occasion was semi-competitive, this time around we’re purely in it to play it and fitness it. It’s the first of two games Chelsea have scheduled for this summer’s International Champions Cup, Singapore edition, and while that sounds important, it’s still just a friendly with an added bit of marketing.
Date / Time: Tuesday, July 25, 12:35 BST; 7:35am EDT; 5:05pm IST
Venue: National Stadium, Singapore
Forecast: Hot hot hot
On TV: Premier Sports (UK); ESPN Deportes (USA); Sony TEN 2 (India); elsewhere
Chelsea team news: Despite the drama of the first month and a half of the summer break, Chelsea’s pre-season preparations have not really missed a beat, and that’s despite the injuries to Eden Hazard, Timemoue Bakayoko, and now Pedro as well.
Things are only set to improve with Antonio Rudiger on his way to join the squad finally while Chelsea will have fellow new signing Alvaro Morata available for the first time ever as well, with Antonio Conte confirming the plan to give him minutes off the bench. Meanwhile, young Charly Musonda has been working extra hard to get back to fitness after more nagging injuries.
Bayern Munich team news: Since we last met Bayern four years ago, all they’ve done is win the German league each season and add a couple German cups as well for good measure. Surprisingly, they have managed to win exactly as many Champions Leagues as Chelsea since then, zero, and that’s despite hiring Pep Guardiola for a few seasons.
Now managed by the cuddly set of eyebrows known as Carlo Ancelotti, Bayern are looking to continue their domination of the domestic game by making smart moves in the transfer market, signing the likes of Corentin Tolisso, Nicklas Sule, Kingsley Coman, and James Rodriguez (on loan!) while not losing anyone of any significant import. That said, the double retirement of Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso have left massive voids to fill.
Bayern are coming off a draw against Arsenal and a surprisingly poor 4-0 loss to AC Milan, two results that have left fans questioning whether these pre-season marketing tours are really worth the trouble and effort and the coaching staff altering plans to rest their already weary players.
View from the enemy: Bavarian Football Works
Preferred lineup: WAGNH’s preference overwhelmingly remains for a strong starting lineup, with young Jeremie Boga getting his big chance up front after Pedro had to return to London to get further treatment for his facial fractures.
Courtois (82%) | Christensen (55%), David Luiz (70%), Azpilicueta (78%) | Alonso (84%), Kanté (92%), Fàbregas (82%), Moses (73%) | Boga (60%), Batshuayi (78%), Willian (84%)