Chelsea Tour 2016/17 fixtures: List of pre-season friendlies the Blues play before EPL
Antonio Conte will be in charge of Chelsea for the first time when the Blues face Austrian side Rapid Vienna on 16 July in a friendly match in the new Allianz Stadium in Vienna. It will be the first official match in Rapid’s brand new stadium which replaces the Gerhard Hanappi Stadium.The Italian manager will be hoping to start the season with a bang after the disaster of last season.
Also Read: Chelsea release trio after contracts expire
Jose Mourinho who was sacked by Chelsea mid-season in December following a ‘palpable discord’ with the players had left the team in ashes. They were languishing dangerously close to the relegation zone with 9 losses and only 4 wins from the 16 games they had played till then. With interim specialist Guus Hiddink landing to help Chelsea battle out of the pit they had created for themselves, the Dutchman brought some composure into the team and guided them out of hell.
The season has ended but the bruises remain, Conte will be keen to find the right combination for his desired system and the matches will be a perfect platform to get that done. Integrating new players into the team will also be one of the objectives for Conte in pre-season as he will look to restore Chelsea to their past glory.
Chelsea play their second friendly in Austria against WAC RZ Pellets at the Worthersee Stadion in Klagenfurt on July 20. Chelsea youngster Jeremie Boga scored a stunning solo goal when these two sides met in a friendly two years back in a 1-1 draw. That season saw the Blues lift the Premier League title and Chelsea fans will be hoping for something similar this time around.
After the Austria visit, Conte’s men travel to the United States to participate in the 2016 International Champions Cup, they will face Liverpool, Real Madrid and AC Milan which should provide Chelsea excellent preparation for the upcoming season.
Chelsea will go up against Premier League rivals Liverpool on 27 July in Los Angeles. They return to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena eight years after a Carlo Ancelotti led Chelsea won 2-0 against Inter Milan managed by Jose Mourinho.
They take on Champions League winners Real Madrid next on 30 July at the Michigan Stadium in Michigan. ‘The Big House’ as it is known, is the largest stadium in the USA with a capacity of 109,901.
Chelsea’s last game in the Champions Cup is against familiar pre-season opponents AC Milan on 3 August at the brand new US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The last time these two sides met in a friendly was in 2013 which ended with Blues winning the fixture 2-0, thanks to goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Andre Schurrle.
Regarding the tour of the States, Chelsea FC Chairman Bruce Buck said: ‘It gives us great pleasure to know we will be testing ourselves at the highest level this summer and I am sure the squad will benefit from the excellent facilities available to us across the United States. We have always found the support shown to the club by our American fans to be passionate and positive and cannot wait to see them once more.”
The rebuilding job at Chelsea will not be easy for the incoming manager. The competitiveness of the Premier League and with incoming star-manager in Pep Guardiola and the returning Jose Mourinho place in the top four will be tough, but the Chelsea fans will hope that Conte can guide the Blues home.
|16 July||Rapid Vienna||Allianz Stadion, Vienna||09:30 pm|
|20 July||WAC RZ Pellets||Worthersee Stadion, Velden in Carinthia||11:30 pm|
|28 July||Liverpool||Rose Bowl, Pasadena||09:05 am|
|31 July||Real Madrid||Michigan Stadium, Michigan||12:30 am|
|4 August||AC Milan||US Bank Stadium,Minneapolis||07:00 am|