After coming off of a 2-1 victory against Olimpija Ljubljana on Sunday, the Blues will travel to Holland on Wednesday, July 30 to take on Vitesse Arnhem. The match will kickoff from GelreDome Stadium at 10:30 AM PST (1:30 PM EST).
Chelsea have continually gained confidence this preseason, remaining unbeaten in the process. Obviously their competition hasn’t been world class thus far, but teams are playing them tough. The squad isn’t at full strength yet either, which makes it easy to ponder just how good this team can be once the Premier League and Champions League campaigns begin.
Chelsea Team News:
Newly signed players Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas each had impressive debuts for Chelsea on Sunday. Costa got the Blues back on level terms in the 56th minute, placing a cracking goal into the top right corner. This was after a beautifully weighted pass came in from Fabregas. Costa was then subbed off after 70 minutes played for youth talent Patrick Bamford.
Fabregas played just shy of 70 minutes, but definitely left his mark on the match. The 27 year old Spaniard was on target with the majority of his passes, which included his assist to Costa. The ex-Barcelona midfielder looked comfortable in his position, and was stationed slightly ahead of fellow center midfielder Nemanja Matic for the majority of the match.
Youngster Kurt Zouma tallied the second goal for the Blues, which proved to be the decider. It seems that Zouma will be remaining with Chelsea throughout this year, and see playing time when John Terry or Gary Cahill need respite. He appears confident with the ball at his feet and makes smart challenges in the defensive half.
The biggest take away from the night may just have been Fernando Torres though. The Spanish international had the opportunity to put Chelsea 3-1 ahead, but managed to miss the goal from inside the six yard box. Defender Nathan Ake had made an excellent run down the left flank and played in a perfect pass on Torres’ chest. It seems very unlikely that Torres will see a significant amount of playing time this season.
Vitesse Team News:
This Dutch team doesn’t have a very rich football history. Vitesse Arnhem have failed to win the Eredivisie title, Holland’s top league, in their 122 years of existence. They have managed to play in the Europa League qualifying rounds over the past two seasons though.
Chelsea and Vitesse have long had a solid link. It is nearly impossible to keep every player on a team as talented as Chelsea’s. Therefore, they loan out young talents just as every other squad does. One of the sides that often receive these players on loan from the Blues though is Vitesse.
There are currently two members of Chelsea serving their loan spells in Holland. Bertrand Traore and Brazilian defender Wallace will likely take the pitch Wednesday against their parent club. This matchup gives the youngsters an opportunity to show off in front of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea will be further boosted on Wednesday with the returns of John Obi Mikel and recently re-signed striker Didier Drogba. Vitesse are by no means a pushover, but this Blues squad have looked more comfortable in each match this preseason. The team won’t necessarily be worried about the result, but they haven’t lost yet this summer, which says something. I anticipate that Chelsea will handle the Dutch side comfortably, winning 2-0.
TV Schedule: This match will be televised on Chelsea TV.