Antonio Conte’s men are headed to the Far East this summer and will meet some top-class opposition as they prepare to defend the Premier League title
Chelsea will spend much of their pre-season in the Far East as they travel to China and Singapore for showcase friendlies against some of Europe’s top clubs.
Antonio Conte is entering his second season at the helm at Stamford Bridge and will be hoping to add to his squad this summer to successfully defend the Premier League title.
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That will be a tough proposition, however, with the teams currently trailing them likely to spend big in the coming transfer window; and the Blues will not be able to afford to get off to a slow start when opening weekend arrives.
This is your complete guide to the fixtures awaiting Chelsea over the coming months before they return to competitive action.
CHELSEA PRE-SEASON FIXTURES
|Date||Opponent||Time (local / BST)||Venue|
|Jul 22||Arsenal||19:40 / 12:40||Bird’s Nest, Beijing|
|Jul 25||Bayern Munich||19:35 / 12:35||National Stadium, Singapore|
|Jul 29||Inter||19:35 / 12:35||National Stadium, Singapore|
Chelsea currently have only three friendlies scheduled. Most clubs play at least six or seven, so we can expect more to be announced both before and after their current slate in due course.
The first currently on the list is against Arsenal at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest, the main venue for the 2008 Olympic Games. Also known as the Beijing National Stadium, it holds 80,000 fans and is sure to create a raucous atmosphere for the visit of two of England’s biggest clubs.
After that, the Blues will take a six-hour flight south for the Singapore section of the International Champions Cup.
Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Inter will all face each other in a three-way mini-tournament, with Conte’s team opening the competition against Bayern on July 25 and closing it four days later versus Inter. The German and Italian clubs meet in between on July 27.
All of those games will be played at Singapore’s impressive 55,000-capacity National Stadium, which was opened in 2014.
Last year, Chelsea spent time in Austria before heading out to the United States for their more high-profile friendlies. It is possible they will do the same again given their first match in Asia is not until July 22, but once that trio of games is complete they will likely return to London to prepare for the Community Shield.
WHEN DOES THE SEASON START?
As Premier League champions, Chelsea will meet FA Cup winners Arsenal in the Community Shield. A date for that match has not officially been announced but it is almost certain to fall on August 6, the first Sunday of the month.
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The Community Shield will then lead the Blues into the start of the Premier League campaign, which will kick off on Saturday, August 12. Although Chelsea will regularly be picked for televised Sunday matches, it is common for the reigning champions to play on opening day or even in the very first game of the season at lunchtime on the Saturday.
As they have qualified directly for the group stage of the Champions League, Chelsea’s European campaign will not begin until September.