Chelsea start the preparation for the defence of the double in the first pre-season game of the season against Crystal Palace. Chelsea still have 3 pre-season matches left after this one and it will provide the best chance for Ancelotti to work out a plan to replace the players who were released in the summer with some players from Chelsea’s youth Academy. It will also provide him the chance to bring injured players like Essien and Mikel back to fitness.
Chelsea manager, Ancelotti has provided a huge boost with
the news that Essien is fit to play and will start the match. Essien is one of the best midfielders in the world and to have him fit again is like a new £30 million signing. This to a certain extent should compensate the lack of world class signings at Chelsea up until now.
“It is six months out and I think that he will be excited to play tomorrow. Essien will start tomorrow, maybe for 45 to 60 minutes. I don’t want to use players for all 90 minutes. It is the first game so we don’t want to take a risk to put players out for 90 minutes.”
“I know now I will play, and it will be nice to have 45 minutes like the other guys to test my fitness. It feels good, it’s been a long time but I am back in full training now, everything is good and there is no reaction from the training, so things are looking good for me.”
Not all is good news though as Yuri Zhirkov, Jose Bosingwa, Michael Mancienne and new signing Yossi Benayoun will not be involved in the match. But Ancelotti has said that he expects these players to feature in the forthcoming matches.
Kick-off: Crystal Palace v Chelsea, 15:00
Saturday, 17 July 2010