Chelsea plays their first “competitive friendly” later this evening when they run out against Villarreal; the English Premier League outfit and Spanish La Liga outfit will play for the first piece of silverware available to them.
Why are Chelsea and Villarreal here?
Well, it is quite simple, they are the champions of their respected European competitions. The Blues stunned Europe and beat the Champions League favourites and their English foes, Manchester City.
El Submarino Amarillo, in the UEFA Europa League, beat the favourites of that competition and English giants, Manchester United. The Red Devils spoilt the chance to make it two all-English UEFA Super Cup clashes over the course of the last three seasons.
Talking all-English Super Cup encounters; Chelsea’s failure in the previous one back in 2019, where they lost to Liverpool on penalties, still lives fresh in their mind. However, it’s a new manager now, so expect a different outcome.
What they will be doing is trying to close the gap on their EPL rivals, as the job to become the most successful club out of England continues, on and on.
They will want to close the gap on Liverpool’s 13 European trophies – a win tonight for the West Londoners – and they will be on 8 European trophies won in the club’s history.
Where will the game take place between Chelsea and Villarreal?
Matchup: Chelsea vs. Villarreal
Time: 20:00 BST
Venue: National Football Stadium at Windsor Park
Country: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Chelsea’s preseason results
Games played: 3
Villarreal preseason results:
Games played: 6
The Blues predicted line-up to take on El Submarino Amarillo
Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy;
Defenders: César Azpilicueta, Kurt Zouma, Antonio Rudiger; Marcos Alonso
Midfielders: N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz;
Forward: Timo Werner
The reason for picking these players as the starting XI is because they’ve been around for a longer period during the preseason and have undergone more preparations.
Other regular first-team players have recently returned from extended holidays or vacations following their involvement in international tournaments, which the manager touched on.
Thomas Tuchel believes any player can start but finishing the 90 minutes will be the problem. The players being referred to are the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Jorginho, Emerson and Thiago Silva.
There is no possible way we will see any of them start for Tuchel but we could see a couple of them being introduced later on in the game.
Chelsea 3-1 Villarreal
I predict Chelsea to win, purely based on how great their manager is tactically and how good they’ve been during the preseason – despite not having a fully-fit squad to choose from throughout the offseason preparations.
Adding to the bold forecast of a Blues triumph; the Yellow Submarine have struggled for some positive results during their offseason work. They have been unable to win, however, have been scoring quite freely – they only failed to score in one friendly.
Expecting some great footballing action and some goals between Europe’s best two clubs – probably the only downfall to come from this encounter being so early, we do not get to see Romelu Lukaku in action and will have to wait a bit longer.