After a brief break following a trip halfway across the globe, Chelsea resume preseason with a short trip down the M4 to the Madejski, last visited in early 2013. This will be Chelsea’s fifth of seven friendlies this summer, and the first of the final trio of games to be played over a span of just eight days — the standard workload for much of the upcoming season.
For Reading, this will be their final preparatory match. The Championship season begins the week before the Premier League, with the Royals hosting Sheffield Wednesday on the opening Saturday.
We’re getting close to real football!
Date / Time: Sunday, July 28, 2019, 15:00 BST; 10am EDT; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Madejski Stadium, Reading, England
Forecast: Warm but overcast
On TV: none
Streaming online: Chelsea TV (£10.99 for the entire preseason on the website; not prorated) or the 5th Stand app (£1.99 per game, back to previous silly pricing after the £3.99 extreme silliness against Barcelona). If you had a Chelsea TV subscription last season, the games should still be available to you for free. In the UK/Ireland, all 7 preseason games will be available on Chelsea TV. Globally, the rights for the games against Kawasaki Frontale, Barcelona, RB Salzburg, and Borussia Mönchengladbach might belong to other rights-holders and thus might not be available through Chelsea TV.
Reading team news: Emerging unscathed from season-long relegation battle last year, a season started under former Chelsea assistant Paul Clement but finished with José Gomes, Reading will certainly he hoping for a better time of things this season.
Veteran signings Charlie Adam and Michael Morrison should add some quality into the squad, while they also welcome back Matt Miazga on loan, though it’s unclear if he’ll be ready to play in the friendly. Former Chelsea prospects Sam Walker, goalkeeper, and John Swift, midfielder, will undoubtedly be looking forward to this big test.
“It’ll be a tough game [but] it’s always good to go up against a top opposition like Chelsea. You want to get the best out of your last pre-season game. You obviously want to win, but Chelsea are a top team so you want to go into that game and give everything you can [...]’
“It’ll be my first time playing against them! A game is a game at the end of the day. I’ve been away from Chelsea for years now so it’ll just be good to come up against the opposition that they have and to see what I can do really, just try and do my best.
-John Swift; source: Reading FC
Chelsea team news: The Blues remain without the injured quintet of N’Golo Kanté, Antonion Rüdiger, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Willian — though at least Kanté’s expected back before the season starts. Otherwise, it’s full steam ahead for the squad, which will still need to be reduced by a handful of players in the final month of the European transfer window (which still runs through the end of August).
Previously: Chelsea showed plenty of promise in the 2-1 win over Barcelona on Tuesday.