The champions of the French and the English League meet in a high-octane pre-season friendly on Saturday night. This match too is a part of the International Champions Cup that is into its third year now.
The battle between Chelsea and PSG has become something of notice, especially in the last two seasons. Chelsea and PSG have both beaten each other by away goals in a dramatic fashion in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, and the Round of 16 respectively.
In May, Laurent Blanc’s men secured their third straight Ligue 1 title. They also completed the domestic treble last season but losing to eventual Champions League winners Barcelona. Since returning from their summer break, the French side have been really good in their three pre-season games so far, winning all three. Two of those have been in the International Champions Cup, with Benfica and Florentina, both facing the brunt. PSG are the first French team to compete in the Tournament.
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea ended a five-year wait for the Premier League title in May, winning the league by eight points, just like PSG. After the summer break, Chelsea flew out to The United States and got off to a bad start against New York Red Bulls, losing 4-2. Loic Remy’s goal gave Chelsea a half-time lead, but then the team played poorly in the second half, with defensive howlers and hilarious misses taking the center stage for the Blues. Mourinho was rightly disappointed with the performance, but also played down the defeat because of it being a friendly.
Team News for PSG:
PSG were led by Swedish International Zlatan Ibrahimovich in the absence of Copa America participants Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Edinson Cavani and David Luiz. The above players have arrived at training but might not play the match. The young French striker, Jean Augustin is the ICC’s top scorer having scored three goals in the two games. Midfielder Benjamin Stambouli’s move to PSG was only confirmed on Tuesday, and should play a part in the game, just like against Florentina in their previous outing. The purchase of Kevin Trapp from Eintracht Frankfurt has put up a healthy competition for the GK spot with Sirigu staying on the bench.
Team News for Chelsea:
The Copa America stars namely Willian, Juan Cuadrado and loanee Radamel Falcao have all returned to training with the first team, and may play a part role in the match. Felipe Luis meanwhile will be returning to Atletico Madrid sometime next week and hasn’t joined the team. Asmir Begovic, despite his poor debut, will be starting and so could Hazard, who scored a good goal in the last defeat. Jose would certainly look to field a stronger side than the one against the Red Bulls, especially since the team lost badly.
This should be a match with a higher intensity than the previous one. But we might see PSG playing better, as this is their fourth pre-season game. Jose will definitely give all of the players a chance and would be concentrating on season preparations and player fitness more than winning the match.
Date- Saturday, 25th July 2015
Venue- Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.
Kick-off- 6:05 p.m. EDT, 11:05 p.m. BST, 3:35 a.m. IST
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Edited By: Karan Dubey
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