Chelsea will play their first game under new boss Maurizio Sarri when they take on Hyundai A-League side Perth Glory tonight (Monday) as part of their whistle-stop tour to Australia.
A crowd of around 60,000 fans is expected to watch the Premier League giants take on Tony Popovic’s side at the new Optus Stadium.
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The Blues have been given a warm reception from the fans since they touched down in Perth on Thursday and will want to put on a show in what is their second trip Down Under in three years.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of tonight’s clash.
Perth Glory v Chelsea
Optus Stadium, Perth
Monday, 23 July 2018
Kick-Off: 7:30pm (Local) (9:30pm AEST)
Perth Glory squad: Liam Reddy, Dino Djulbic, Alex Grant, Shane Lowry, Scott Neville, Jake Brimmer, Jacob Italiano, Neil Kilkenny, Joel Chianese, Chris Harold, Andy Keogh, Diego Castro, Ivan Franjic, Tomislav Mrcela, Brendon Santalab, Matthew Spiranovic, Tando Velaphi, Jason Davidson
Chelsea squad: Marcin Bulka, Jared Thompson, Bradley Collins, David Luiz, Ethan Ampadu, Fikayo Tomori, Michael Hector, Tomas Kalas, Marcos Alonso, Emerson, Davide Zappacosta, Ola Aina, Cesc Fabregas, Danny Drinkwater, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Ross Barkley, Mario Pasalic, Jorginho, Kasey Palmer, Pedro, Lucas Piazon, Charly Musonda, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Alvaro Morata, Tammy Abraham
It’s less than three weeks until Chelsea begin the new Premier League season meaning new boss Sarri – who only replaced Antonio Conte last week – will be taking this game seriously.
The Blues finished fifth in their title defence last season to miss out on UEFA Champions League football and a repeat won’t be tolerated in 2018/19.
The new boss is without a host of his stars who played at the FIFA World Cup™ - including the likes of Olivier Giroud, Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante and Thibaut Courtois – but still have a squad packed with world-class talent.
New recruit Jorginho should see some game time in midfield, while the likes of Cesc Fabregas, David Luiz and Alvaro Morata will be looking to make a good impression on the new boss to be in the starting XI for the Premier League opener.
For Glory, new coach Popovic has begun his overhaul of the squad which finished the last Hyundai A-League campaign a disappointing eighth.
The former Wanderers boss has brought in the likes of Matthew Spiranovic, Ivan Franjic, Brendon Santalab, Tomi Mrcela and Jason Davidson, giving the squad a more formidable look for the 2018/19 Season.
Popovic is likely to use a mix of his established stars and youngsters against Chelsea to give as many players as possible the opportunity to play against EPL opposition.
A former Crystal Palace assistant, Popovic is no stranger to the Premier League and will relish the chance to pit his wits against Chelsea again.
HOW TO WATCH
In the first football match to be played at the new multi-purpose stadium in Perth, the clash will be simulcast in Australia via The World Game website, app, and on SBS On Demand.