Chelsea’s next two friendlies also support an important cause in mental health awareness — drawn into focus not just by the pandemic but by athletes like Simone Biles at the Olympics — with part of the proceeds from the games going to support charitable causes at Mind and the Chelsea Foundation.
The first of those friendlies is against Arsenal this weekend, with the second to follow midweek, against Spurs. It’s unclear if that will be our last friendly of the summer; we still have an open slot next weekend, before the Super Cup against Villarreal on the 11th.
In any case, off to the Emirates we go for a meaningless meaningfulness.
Date / Time: Sunday, August 1, 2021, 15.00 BST; 10am EDT; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London, England
Forecast: Light “summer” rain
On TV: none
Streaming: Chelsea website & The 5th Stand App — the match costs £7.99/$10.99 to watch, half of which will be donated to the charities. Buying the match early will also let you watch the Arsenal vs. Chelsea women’s friendly that kicks-off before the men’s friendly at 12.15 BST (7:15am EDT)
Arsenal team news: A mid-table finish with no European football has prompted a few changes in the team, though not at the head coaching position. New arrivals include Nuno Tavares from Benfica, Albert Sami Lokonga from Anderlecht, and most notably, Ben White from Brighton & Hove Albion for a cool £50m just yesterday. David Luiz is the biggest name gone after his contract was not renewed. Willian’s still there, much to their fans’ chagrin.
The Gunners have been recently linked with a potential move for Tammy Abraham, and there’s been some speculation about Lautaro Martinez as well, to upgrade on Alexandre Lacazette, though none of those ideas have made it past the rumor stage just yet.
Arsenal were supposed to play a preseason tournament in Florida last week, but pulled out due to “a small number” of positive COVID tests among the players and staff. Apparently that’s no longer a concern however.
Chelsea team news: We welcomed back Andreas Christensen and captain César Azpilicueta in the last couple days after their extended post-Euros holidays, though they probably won’t be featuring in this one just yet. We should see action however for those who returned last week (such as N’Golo Kanté or Kai Havertz), alongside maybe a few of the fringe players and youth prospects still with the team.
Previously: Rivalry aside, this is still just a friendly, so it’s still more about fitness than anything else. The boys have been working hard in training!