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Chelsea set up glamorous preseason friendly against Barcelona in Japan

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Second friendly confirmed for Japan this summer

FC Barcelona v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Chelsea have made it twice as nice for this summer’s preseason trip to Japan, adding a friendly against none other than all-conquering Barcelona on July 23 at Saitama Stadium, located north of Tokyo.

Four days prior, Chelsea will take on J.League champions Kawasaki Frontale at the Yokohama International Stadium, located south of Tokyo. Clearly, a Tokyo field trip is in order ... (I wish).

Chelsea’s first friendly is part of something called the MEIJI YASUDA J.LEAGUE WORLD CHALLENGE 2019 organized by Yokohama Tyres (Chelsea shirt sponsor), while the second is part of something called the Rakuten Cup (Barcelona shirt sponsor). The somewhat interesting part is that neither of them are part of the nearly ubiquitous International Champions Cup, which has come to dominate the preseason schedules of most top teams in recent years. I’m not sure that means anything, but it’s possibly worth a mention — either way it got a mention, but I figured this nonsense would be better padding than Bruce Buck’s latest quotes about business partnerships and global reach and engagement and whatnot.

Anyway, here’s the confirmed post-/preseason schedule for Chelsea so far. Expect a couple more added to this, at least, hopefully closer to home.

May 15: vs. New England Revolutions (Foxborough, MA, USA)
July 19: vs. Kawasaki Frontale (Yokohama, Japan)
July 23: vs. Barcelona (Saitama, Japan)