The fifth and final preseason game is upon us, with Chelsea having gotten our fill of deep dish pizza and now ready to take on Borussia Dortmund at Soldier Field in Chicago. The season proper starts in about ten days; it’s time for some final preparations.
Overall, it’s been a productive and positive preseason so far, so let’s end it on a good note.
Date / Time: Wednesday, August 2, 2023, 8:30pm EDT; 1:30am BST (next day); 6am IST (next day)
Venue: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL, USA
On TV: ESPNU (USA); Viaplay Sports 1 (UK); none? (India); SuperSport Premier League (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: ESPN+ (USA); Viaplay UK (UK); none? (India); DStv Now (NGA); Chelsea 5th Stand App, website (international where no rights holders exist)
Chelsea team news: We’ve welcomed a new addition to the squad in 19-year-old defensive midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu, though Mauricio Pochettino wasn’t sure if he would be fit and able to play straight away even if we wanted him to. Ugochukwu, like many others on the tour will likely be heading out on loan — the first-team squad is at least 5-6 players too heavy at the moment.
One player who likely won’t play a part is Trevoh Chalobah. It’s still not clear how severe his injury from the weekend may be, but I could not spot him in the pictures released from training over the last couple days, so he’ll probably sit this one out. (And some rumors claim he may have even played for us for the final time, sadly enough.)
Borussia Dortmund team news: BVB lost the league last season on goal difference, after a dramatic final day saw them drop points against midtable Mainz and thus give Thomas Tuchel at Bayern a happy ending after all.
That kick in the teeth was followed by Jude Bellingham’s departure to Real Madrid in a nine-figure deal, alongside the free exits of Raphaël Guerreiro and Mahmoud Dahoud. On the incoming end, Dortmund brought in a couple midfielders, Felix Nmecha and Marcel Sabitzer, while Thorgan Hazard’s back from his half-season loan at PSV.
And of course, there’s talent aplenty in the team either way, with the likes of Youssoufa Moukoko, Julian Brandt, and Gio Reyna, just to name a few. Their first-choice goalkeeper, Gregor Kobel, was briefly linked with Chelsea earlier this summer, but those stories died away rather quickly.
BVB have won all five of their preseason games so far, including a 3-2 win over Manchester United in Las Vegas over the weekend.
View from the frenemy: Fear The Wall
Previously: The absolute undisputed high point of last season was our 2-0 win over Dortmund at Stamford Bridge, which I was lucky enough to witness in person. Half the team that started that day barely five months ago are either gone for good or lost for the season through injury, which is pretty indicative of the pace of change in the team these days.