Chelsea will kick-off their Pre-season tour with a fixture against Singha All-Stars on Wednesday (17 July). The match will be the first of Jose Mourinho's second stint as Chelsea manager. The All-Stars will be encouraged by last week's 1-0 defeat of Manchester United. The Thai team could make it two in a row against Premier League opposition while Chelsea have the chance to quantify how far ahead of Manchester United they are at this early stage in preparation. A key issue for the Chelsea players to contend with will be the climate in Bangkok. Much like Manchester United, they will not be used to playing in the heat and humidity of the Thai capital.
Unfortunately for the Thai fans, Chelsea will be without many of their star players. With the club giving extra vacation time to those involved in the Confederations Cup and Under-21 European Championships, Fernando Torres, Juan Mata, Oscar, Ramirez, Victor Moses and new signing Marco van Ginkel have yet to join the squad.
Chelsea will likely give playing time to other new signings Andre Schrulle and Mark Schwarzer. Michael Essien, who has returned to Chelsea with Jose Mourinho following the expiration of his loan period at Real Madrid, is in line for a starting position in midfield alongside Frank Lampard. Mourinho will also be keen to give young players Lucas Piazon and Nathaniel Chalobah some time. Romelu Lukaku has returned from his loan spell at West Bromwich Albion and will be keen to impress as will Kevin De Bruyne.
The Singha All-Stars will be primarily comprised of players from Thai league leaders Buriram United and last year's defending champions Muangthong United. Buriram lead Muangthong by two points in this year's title race. Teeratep Winothai, who scored the winning goal against Manchester United will be guaranteed another start.
Where to Watch
The game kicks-off at 7:30 pm IST (Wednesday 17 July). Live coverage is available to Chelsea TV subscribers.