The Premier League giants are set for their first match under new coach Maurizio Sarri
Chelsea will look to start Maurizio Sarri’s tenure in charge of the Blues on the right note as they travel to Australia to take on Perth Glory at Optus Stadium on July 23.
Having only just replaced Antonio Conte with former Napoli coach Sarri, Chelsea are desperate for a more successful season after finishing fifth in the Premier League.
They’ll look to start that resurgence in Perth against a Glory side itself with a new coach in the form of Tony Popovic.
Glory finished eighth last season in a ten-team league and have recruited strongly in the off-season as they look to bounce back themselves.
Set to be the first football match played at the newly-built Optus Stadium, both sides will be hoping they can christen it with a win.
|Game||Perth Glory vs Chelsea|
|Date||Monday July 23|
|Time||19:30 LOCAL / 21:30 AEST|
|Stream||SBS On Demand/ The World Game|
TV Channel & Live Stream
In Australia, the match will be simulcast in Australia via The World Game website, app, and on SBS On Demand.
It will also be televised on SBS with coverage kicking off from 9pm AEST.
|AUS TV channel||Online stream|
|SBS||SBS On Demand/ The World Game|
Squads & Team News
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
New coach Popovic has wasted no time since arriving in Western Australia recruiting a whole new back four.
Former Socceroos Matthew Spiranovic and Ivan Franjic will give Glory’s fragile defence a timely boost, while Brendon Santalab will be looking to end his career with a few more goals.
Having signed four defenders this off-season, Perth’s attacking stocks look comparatively low with Andy Keogh set to carry a lot of the goal-scoring burden.
Star Spanish midfielder Diego Castro has just returned for a rare full pre-season and will likely be used off the bench against Chelsea.
Potential Glory starting XI: Reddy; Davidson, Mrcela, Spiranovic, Franjic; Kilkenny, Chianese, Brimmer, Harold, Italiano; Keogh.
Chelsea’s squad and indeed starting 11 is a lot less certain at this stage with just four star players confirmed to be making the trip.
David Luiz, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Marcos Alonso will all be heading Down Under with new signing Jorginho also expected to make his debut for the club.
The Blues World Cup players including Olivier Giroud, Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois won’t be coming to Perth as they recover from their exploits in Russia.
Three years ago, Chelsea arrived in Australia with Jose Mourinho still at the helm having just guided them to a Premier League title with the Blues dispatching Sydney FC 1-0 courtesy of a Loic Remy goal.
Fast forward a few years and Maurizio Sarri’s rise from rookie coach to Italian mastermind sees him taking over at Chelsea after a mixed season under Conte.
Despite ending their campaign with an FA Cup final win over Manchester United, a fifth-placed league finish, which saw the Blues miss out on a Champions League spot, was enough to see Conte get the axe.
Sarri was quick to sign Jorginho not long after he himself secured a move to Stamford Bridge and will be using his first match in charge to get a good gauge of the squad he’s inherited.
Awaiting him will be a Perth Glory side themselves with a new coach after Tony Popovic was brought in to replace Kenny Lowe.
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A former Crystal Palace assistant, Popovic is no stranger to the Premier League and won’t be intimidated by Chelsea.
Having recruited strongly and already a few weeks into their pre-season, Glory should be sharper than the Blues but may find themselves outclassed by a number of Chelsea players eager to impress their new coach.
With Popovic known for his defensive abilities and Sarri more inclined to attacking football, the first ever football match at Optus Stadium stands to be a fascinating one.