Chelsea and Inter Milan meet under the guise of an International Champions Cup summer friendly for the second season in a row, following last year’s match in Singapore, which Inter won, 2-1. The Nerazzurri went on to have a slightly better season than Chelsea, too, finishing one place higher (4th vs. 5th), with two points more (72 vs. 70), and, crucially, with Champions League instead of Europa League football on tap for this season. As a result, they did not fire their coach, Luciano Spalletti, and have had themselves a very strong summer “mercato” thus far as well.
That said, this is just a preseason friendly, with emphasis, as usual, on fitness, learning, and marketing outreach.
Chelsea will be wearing the new yellow away kit for the first time (despite being the home side, technically). We’ll see just how bad (or good) the bold fashion statement of blue socks will look.
Date / Time: Saturday, July 28, 2018, 20:05 local time (19:05 BST; 2:05pm EDT)
Venue: Allianz Riviera, Nice, France
Forecast: Morning and afternoon showers giving way to a classic hot (and somewhat humid) night on the Côte d’Azur
On TV: Premier Sports (UK); ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes (USA); elsewhere
Chelsea team news: Twenty-three players traveled to Nice yesterday, including all available first-team players and several youngsters as well, including Marcin Bułka, Ethan Ampadu, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Charly Musonda, Lucas Piazon, and Tammy Abraham. Still no sign of Kurt Zouma.
GOALKEEPERS: Caballero, Green, Bułka
DEFENDERS: Rüdiger, Christensen, David Luiz, Azpilicueta, Zappacosta, Alonso, Emerson, Ampadu
MIDFIELDERS: Jorginho, Fàbregas, Barkley, Bakayoko, Drinkwater
FORWARDS: Pedro, Moses, Hudson-Odoi, Musonda, Piazon, Morata, Abraham
Internazionale team news: After a few subpar seasons, Inter are building well on last season’s success, and have made several signings who had been linked with Chelsea at one point or another as well. Radja Nainggolan, Stefan de Vrij, Kwadwo Asamoah have all joined, while young Lautaro Martínez also made the jump from Racing Club in Argentina. Arturo Vidal might join as well, adding to an already strong core with Samir Handanović in goal, Milan Škriniar anchoring the defence, and Mauro Icardi providing the goals. Croatia stars Marcelo Brozović and Ivan Perišić will only add to that when they return from their well-earned post-World Cup vacations.
Previously: In last summer’s friendly, Geoffrey Kondogbia scored one of the greatest own goals of all time. He was subsequently loaned out to Valencia, who then exercised their buy-option at the end of the season.