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Pulisic, Willian to join Chelsea on preseason tour of Japan — report


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Mexico v United States Final - 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea have been shuffling players in and out of training camp, at one point having as many as 35 players partaking in the intense double sessions at Carton House in Dublin. Numbers have now been reduced to 27, and a similar number should be getting on the plane next Monday when Chelsea depart for a tour of Japan, which will include games against Kawasaki Frontale (next Friday, July 19) and Barcelona the Tuesday after (July 23).

The squad will be a little bit changed as well, with youngsters Ian Maatsen and Billy Gilmour expected to stay home and late-returning international duo Christian Pulisic and Willian expected to join up — though it’s not clear if they will do so from the start. That’s according to the Telegraph’s Matt Law, who confirms that the players will have Sunday and Monday morning off before taking flight eastward on Monday afternoon.

It should be noted that earlier reports expected Willian to miss the trip, and replaced by young Kasey Palmer. With Willian still nursing a knock from the Copa América, perhaps both will join! (Rüdiger, Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek, and Reece James will all remain at Cobham still recovering from injuries.)

Pulisic should certainly be ready to hit the ground running after his good showing at the Gold Cup. He’s had a week off since that final, but spent at least part of it training with his father.

And he’s certainly going to need that fitness. One thing that everyone can agree on is that Lampard’s double sessions have been especially intense, with little time wasted on team meetings or long speeches. For now, that’s a good thing, with spirits high and the good vibes freely flowing. But as we’ve seen many times before, if (when) the mood turns, the complaints will begin and what was once good, will now be bad.

But for now, it’s all happy happy joy joy ... so let’s enjoy.

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