Chelsea are back in nearly full effect, on the eve of UEFA’s showpiece game between the winners of their two big competitions. Chelsea, as Champions League winners, take on Villarreal, who beat Manchester United in the Europa League final (after a lengthy and rather spectacular penalty shootout).
These sorts of games always raise the question of how much value we should assign to a “competition” that’s literally just one game, for which teams qualify by winning much more prestigious trophies. But while for fans this may be meaningful really only if we win, for the players, it is of course another shiny trophy to collect. Gotta catch ‘em all!
That said, with much of the first-team having only recently returned from summer holidays (thanks to their involvement in Euro 2020 and the Copa América), this game may come a bit too soon for them — that is if we’re looking at it as a competitive outing. On the other hand, if we’re looking at it as a fitness exercise first and foremost, then perhaps it comes at a perfect time. We do have our first Premier League match in just four days as well (Saturday), so a few interesting decisions will have to be made.