I was meant to be landing on the East Coast right around this time, but thanks to a 17-hour (17!) delay to my scheduled JetBlue flight, I’m currently in Dallas on a connecting flight with American Airlines — for over twice the price. It’s absolutely ridiculous, to delay a flight 17 hours and then not even make it easy to cancel and get a refund with just the click of the button. One-hour wait on the phone or two-hour wait on the online chat. Awesome.
Anyway, hopefully Chelsea’s time in Philadelphia will go better than my efforts to get there — even if our opposition, Brighton, are getting to be JetBlue-levels of annoying.
Date / Time: Saturday, July 22, 2023, 7pm EDT; 12am BST (next day); 4:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Forecast: Sunny and warm and calm
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); none (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); Peacock (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Chelsea team news: So far so good this preseason, with immaculate vibes from new head coach Mauricio Pochettino and a fun 5-0 win over Wrexham during the week. Results don’t necessarily matter, but it’s always good to win, and win while playing well. It was just game one, and the opposition were fourth division, but Chelsea’s very young (and quite unfamiliar) team made it look pretty easy.
Presumably, we will get more of a first-choice selection in this one, though Pochettino emphasized that the aim is to get match-fit in time for the opener against Liverpool, so minutes will be managed accordingly. Speaking of fitness, Reece James has joined camp after missing the start through illness (giving us 30 players), but there was a slight concern with Trevoh Chalobah’s Achilles at the end of the last match. I would guess neither play a big, or any role today.
Brighton & Hove Albion team news: If Brighton approach this friendly with the tenacity they’ve shown in the negotiations for Moisés Caicedo, they probably would win 20-nil. In his pre-match press conference, head coach Roberto De Zerbi (jokingly?) proposed a swap for Levi Colwill, just to be extra annoying.
That aside, Brighton are coming off their best season ever and have plenty of confidence and chutzpah as a result. They did Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool and signed the ancient James Milner from them in return, which is quite the downgrade. They have also added a new €20m goalkeeper in Bart Verbruggen from Anderlecht, acquired forward João Pedro from Watford, and signed once highly promising Mahmoud Dahoud from Borussia Dortmund.
This will be Brighton’s first friendly of the summer.
Previously: Brighton did the double over us on the pitch, and did us dirty in the transfer market as well. Overall, we’ve gone winless in five against the Seagulls, which is also annoying. Here are more positive vibes from the summer tour instead.