Chelsea are back in action tomorrow, with a friendly at Brighton & Hove Albion, against whom incidentally we’ll also be opening the new season in a couple weeks. No funny business, Brighton!
Other than a chance to keep working towards match fitness, this match will also serve as the first test event in football for allowing fans back in stadiums. Brighton are expecting to sell all 2500 tickets (no away fans), which is less than 10 per cent of total capacity, to help test out the various new protocols and restrictions in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Date / Time: Saturday, August 29, 15.00 BST; 10am EDT; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Amex Stadium, Brighton, England
Forecast: Sunny but windy
On TV: none
Streaming: The 5th Stand app and the Chelsea official website will have the match for free, as will Brighton’s own streaming service, MyAlbion Digital. The match will be a true friendly experience, in that there will be only a single camera set up.
Brighton & Hove Albion team news: The Seagulls have had a busy summer, which has included three significant arrivals so far. The highly rated and coveted Ben White has returned from his loan at Leeds and joins Adam Webster, captain Lewis Dunk (now no longer linked with Chelsea after signing a new five-year contract), big man Shane Duffy, and another new arrival, Joël Veltman from Ajax in a strong center back group. Brighton have also snapped up Adam Lallana on a free transfer from Liverpool.
On the outgoing front, Brighton have let right back Martín Montoya and Ezequiel Schelotto (who once had a very good game against us) leave, while midfielder Aaron Mooy surprised everyone by agreeing a move to China just a couple days ago. They’ve also finalized Anthony Knockaert’s transfer to Fulham, where he spent last season on loan already.
Chelsea team news: After taking a year off from the transfer market (not by choice), the Blues are back to ruining football like it’s 2004, signing Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Malang Sarr, Thiago Silva, and probably Kai Havertz as well. Only Ziyech and Werner are expected to play in this one; Chilwell’s injured at the moment while Sarr is set for a loan and Silva literally just signed.
Chelsea’s training has had a rather different look about it so far, with eight first-team players in quarantine at the moment — Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Christian Pulisic (also injured), Jorginho, Emerson, Michy Batshuayi, and Ross Barkley have not been seen yet — and nearly a dozen youngsters and loan returnees joining the group at Cobham instead, to go along with the new arrivals. Ethan Ampadu is one who is expected to feature, but we could also see minutes for the likes of Conor Gallagher, Lewis Baker, Jake Clarke-Salter, and so on.
Previously: Work work work