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Chelsea vs. Milan Preview: Miami Vice

Welcome to the U.S.A. boys! If this weren’t a friendly, we’d probably all be really, really drunk right now, anticipating the worst with our incredibly depleted squad facing off against the European Champions. But it’s just a friendly. And especially considering that these Blues just lost to the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday, I think we can lose the socks, put on some shades and relax, Miami style.

Christian Maldini with his father, Paolo, relaxing in Miami just last week
(photo courtesy of @ChrisMaldini)
So if we’re taking on Chelsea, we should forget that Roberto Di Matteo is an Italian coach, the caretaker coach that did for Chelsea what astronomically paid and overrated Andres Villas Boas could not. Di Matteo has since been hired on as the permanent manager, a decision that took Chelsea and moneybags Abromavic long enough to decide. (“Hmmm… he won our first Champions League title for us… should we keep him?” /facepalm)

We should also forget that after having such a talented squad, Chelsea have reinforced this summer. Although Drogba, Bosingwa, and Kalou left the club, they have added the likes of Eden Hazard, Marko Marin, and most recently, Brazilian phenom Oscar. Luckily for us, Oscar will be at the Olympics with Brazil.

David Luiz and Sideshow Bob: the resemblance is simply uncanny.

Unfortunately, we will face a lot of other very talented players, including one of my favorite defenders, Sideshow Bob. Abate looks most like Bart Simpson, so he should take extra care not to face off with the big haired villain. Of course with players like Ashley Cole, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Frank Lampard, Yossi Benayoun, Michael Essien, Marko Marin, Ramires, and Romelu Lukaku having started vs. the MLS All-Stars, everyone will have to put in a solid performance to stay competitive.

Inasmuch as this is supposed to be just a friendly, I think there is more pressure than ever for Allegri and the boys to prove themselves. Especially the Primavera players, who are playing to be noticed and to be promoted to the first team. And I suppose a little extra pressure is on for our own Phillip Prosenik, the Primavera player who was purchased from Chelsea in January. Also, given the venue, if Robinho scores, his dancing had better be up to par, they know how to move in Miami.

The boys relaxing on the plane to the U.S. (courtesy of @acmilan)

I am not certain whether or not the returning Euro players will start, but I know they are traveling with the team, so perhaps we will see a starting lineup of Amelia; Abate, Mexes, Acerbi, De Sciglio; Montolivo, Ambrosini, Nocerino; Boateng; Cassano, El Shaarawy. Or any number of other players. Personally, given Allegri’s record, I wouldn’t mind if he started all of the Primavera players and gave them as much time as possible, since it is unlikely we will see them again until we face off against them once they are sold to other teams. And that’s not how I want to see them, I want to see them in the red and black.

At the end of the day, we should take a cue from the fun and laid back Miami summer and just enjoy the chance to watch our boys play some football against other. Chelsea may want to redeem themselves after Wednesday night’s loss, and that’s fine. This is their last stop on their American tour, it’s our first stop. All that matters is that no one gets hurt and the players put in a good showing and allow Allegri and the fans to see what they are capable of in a more relaxed environment. And no, if we beat Chelsea, it doesn’t mean we win the Champions League, so let’s just sit back and relax and enjoy the show, Miami style.


This post inspired by the music of The Chemical Brothers

World Football Challenge
Milan vs. Chelsea Friendly
Saturday, July 28th • 6:30pm EDT
SunLife Stadium, Miami, FL, U.S.A.
This match will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN3 in the U.S.