Chelsea begin our preseason with a closed-doors friendly against Peterborough United, whom we last played in the EFL (Checkatrade) Trophy in 2019 with the Development (U23) Squad and in the 3rd round of the FA Cup in 2017 with the first-team.
Unfortunately, this match will not be televised nor will it be streamed live, which is a bit strange in these modern times, and a chance missed to showcase to the fans some of the lesser seen players of the first-team and Loan Army, not to mention a few promising youngsters. Hopefully at least highlights will be available at some point after the game.
Date / Time: Saturday, July 17, 2021, 11.00 BST; 6am EDT; 3:30pm IST
Venue: Cobham Training Centre, Stoke D’Abernon, Surrey
On TV: none
Chelsea team news: At last official count, there are 28 players involved in training at the moment, many of whom are unlikely to be staying with the team as we move closer to the start of the season, which is now less than a month away. A few of them have played against Peterborough in one of those two games mentioned above, including Ruben Loftus-Cheek (in the 4-1 FA Cup win) and Conor Gallagher, Tino Anjorin, Ike Ugo as well goalkeeper Jamie Cumming in the Checkatrade Trophy last-16 3-1 defeat. Marc Guéhi also played in that game, but he now looks to be on his way to Crystal Palace. Billy Gilmour and Juan Castillo also featured, but they have already left on loan for this season.
One would assume players who are trying to convince Thomas Tuchel of their qualities would be the most motivated to put in a good performance, even against lower league opposition. Chelsea are expected to depart for training camp in Dublin soon after this game, and presumably the numbers we take along will be limited.
Peterborough United team news: Managed by Darren Ferguson, Sir Alex Ferguson’s son, Peterborough finished second in League One (third division) last season and earned promotion back to the Championship after a nearly decade-long absence. Their preseason started a couple weeks before Chelsea’s, and this will be their third friendly, after 8-0 and 4-0 victories over non-league sides Bedford Town and Stamford AFC (no relation to Stamford Bridge), respectively.
“It’s a game that has come at the right time for us. It will be a good test of where we are at. It’s obviously a big step up in standard. It’s a game against high quality players. I understand they will be using first team players so we will need to have our defensive shape spot on for a start.”
-Darren Ferguson; source: Peterborough Today
Johnson Clarke-Harris led the team with 31(!) goals last season, while Sammie Szmodics, who’s also eligible for Hungary, received a call-up from the Republic of Ireland recently. Midfielder Jack Taylor has also gotten a call from Ireland; he was born in Hammersmith and spent several years in the younger age groups of the Chelsea Academy alongside his older brother, Harry. Both Taylors were released in 2012 at 14-15 years of age.
Previously: The result doesn’t matter in this game, but it mattered in January 2017, when Pedro grabbed a brace, sandwiching goals by Michy Batshuayi and Willian (and a red card for John Terry), to begin our ultimately non-trophy-winning FA Cup campaign with a 4-1 win.