Pre-Season Preview: Chelsea
An in-depth look at Everton's potential pre-season opponents.
Everton could face familiar foe Chelsea in the final game of their pre-season tour to America.
Having already profiled six of the seven other clubs that the Toffees will be competing against for the International Champions Cup, today we have a closer look at last season’s Europa League winners…
When do we play them? There is a possibility Everton could face their Premier League rivals in the Championship round of the International Champions Cup on August 6 or 7.
Where? The game is in Miami at the Sun Life Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins American Football team.
How can I watch it? Tickets are available here. If you can't make it across the pond, the game will be broadcast live on evertontv. Click here to learn more about how you can view six of Everton’s pre-season fixtures.
Who’s their boss? Jose Mourinho. The Londoners recently reappointed Mourinho, six years after he departed Stamford Bridge. The Portuguese manager enjoyed a successful first spell with Chelsea where he won two Premier League titles, two League Cups and the FA Cup. With Inter Milan, Mourinho claimed two Serie A titles, along with the 2009/10 Champions League and Copa Italia crowns. And during his three years with Real Madrid, the 50-year-old guided Los Blancos to the 2011/12 La Liga championship, securing a record-breaking 100-point haul.
Who’s their best player? Juan Mata. The Spaniard played a key role for Chelsea last season as they won a European trophy for the second successive year. Mata was recognised for his fine season and received a nomination for the PFA Player of the Year award where he lost out to Gareth Bale. The 25-year-old finished the season with 20 goals in 64 appearances.
Who’s their unsung hero? Ramires. The midfielder arrived at Stamford Bridge following a big money move from Benfica and quickly became a firm favourite with the Chelsea faithful due to his athletic and energetic midfield displays. Now 26, Ramires has appeared 34 times for the Brazilian national side since debuting in 2009.
How did they get on last season? It was another rollercoaster season at Stamford Bridge under interim manager Rafael Benitez. Chelsea finished the season 14 points behind champions Manchester United but they did triumph in the Europa League by beating Benfica 2-1 in the final in Amsterdam.
Any Everton connections? Graham Stuart and Pat Nevin played for both clubs during their playing careers. Stuart will forever be remembered by Evertonians after scoring two crucial goals against Wimbledon in 1994 to keep the side in the Premier League. The Blues were trailing 2-1 at half-time to the Dons but rallied to claim and invaluable 3-2 win.
Have we played them before? The records show that Everton and Chelsea have played 168 times in all competitions since they first met in October 1907. There have been a number of notable games between the clubs including the 2009 FA Cup Final which Chelsea won 2-1 after Louis Saha had scored the fastest-ever timed goal in cup final history.
What does the expert say about them? The return of Mourinho as manager has already raised the expectation levels around Stamford Bridge. Chelsea correspondent for the Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle, Yann Tear, believes there will be marquee signings this summer to ensure the West London club challenge for the title once again.
He says: “It will be difficult for him because he said that expectations are going to be enormous due to people knowing what he is capable of and what he and Chelsea can achieve together. The sky’s the limit for the fans.
“There’s no doubt that Jose will be given a fairly good kitty and there’s talk of Edinson Cavani at the moment. There’s talk of a few of the younger players who were out on loan such as Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne playing so they don’t have to buy a whole team.
“He’s talking about evolution not revolution but there will be a couple of big name signings involved.”