Antonio Conte is on his way to America along with his Chelsea team to face Liverpool in an all-Premier League clash in the International Champions Cup at the Rose Bowl in California. Following which they will travel to Michigan to face Real Madrid on 30th July and will end the 10-day trip in Minneapolis against AC Milan. Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois have joined up for pre-season training, while Ivanovic has also travelled with the team, although he will be unavailable for selection as he is still recovering from an injury.
New signing N’Golo Kante is yet to report for preseason training after getting an extended break from Antonio Conte following France’s journey to the Euro final. Antonio Conte will be desperate to sort his team before the season kicks off on August 13th. There is no European distraction next season, hence he will focus completely on getting the Blues back in Europe. Following disappointing result against Rapid Vienna in Conte’s first match, Chelsea travelled to Wolfsberg to square off against WAC RZ Pellets and collected a 3-0 victory, his first as Chelsea manager.
Goalkeeper: Asmir Begovic
Begovic did well against RZ Pellets and is likely to start against Liverpool, given that Courtois has just joined up with the team. The Serbian was an able deputy last season to Courtois, after the Belgian got injured.
Defenders: Ivanovic, Terry , Djilobodji and Aina
Ivanovic is still struggling from the form dip that saw his performance level slide last season. He was largely anonymous against RZ Pellets but it’s unlikely Conte will drop his senior full-back given how valuable he is to the team when in full form. After being told that he won’t be first choice centre –back, John Terry is determined to show Conte that he can still play at the highest level. He will start centrally next to Djilobodji, who has been excellent this summer. Ola Aina will start on the left like the last match, however against RZ Pellets, he did move to his right after the first half.
Midfielder: Willian, Loftus-Cheek , Matic, Moses and Traore
Willian was by far the best Chelsea player last season, and is expected to slot in at the right wing for the match against Liverpool. He has against started of from where he left of last season after an impressive performance against RZ Pellets. Moses will start on the left wing, although Hazard will replace him when fully fit and ready. Loftus-Cheek made 17 appearances for the first team last term but will be required to stand out in the following few matches to cement a place in the starting XI next season. He will partner Matic in the centre, whose position in the team is threatened due to the arrival of Kante. Traore opened his account for this season against Pellets and will continue as the number 10.
Striker: Michy Batshuayi
The Belgian came on in the second half against RZ Pellets and had a wonderful chance to open his account, however he unselfishly laid it off to Moses. He will itching to start to get started given the hype surrounding his signing.