NEW YORK (Sporting Alert) — Chelsea takes on AC Milan in the semi-final of the Guinness International Champions Cup at the MetLife Stadium on Sunday and English Premier League is targeting another win as they look to go to Miami on a high later this week.
The final of the competition will be on Wednesday in Miami, FL and midfielder Michael Essien says the Chelsea team, which battled to a 2-0 win over Inter Milan in their opening game of the Cup, is determined to keep the winning mentality.
“Everybody wants to win. It’s the mentality we have,” Essien said. “Even in training we don’t mess around, everyone is competitive and I think it’s good for us going into games, and for the team spirit.
“For the team it’s another pre-season game but we want to keep winning so we will go out there and do our best, and try and win the game and progress in the tournament.
“It’s good to get used to winning, we’ve been doing it and we haven’t lost any games yet. We want to keep going and build that confidence for when the season starts.”
The experienced Chelsea holding midfielder added: “It’s good so far, everything is going well. We’re working hard and we will keep doing that.
“It’s nice to be back, seeing the young players, the new ones as well as my old friends and I’m looking forward to the new season. I feel very good.
“The hard work is paying off and I just feel like I need more games, to build the minutes and to get full games.”
Essien, who played 45 minutes in the last game, starts today in the middle, with Oscar, Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, while Demba Ba leads the attack.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Ryan Bertrand have been selected as the two full-backs, with Ashley Cole on the bench, while Branislav Ivanovic, and Gary Cahill starts as the centre-backs.
On the bench for the Jose Mourinho side are John Terry, Fernando Torres Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku.
Chelsea team: Cech; Azpi, Ivanovic, Cahill, Bertrand; Van Ginkel, Essien; De Bruyne, Oscar, Hazard; Ba.
Subs: Schwarzer, Cole, Terry, Ramires, Mata, Mikel, Torres, Moses, Lukaku, Schurrle.
AC Milan: Abbiati; Zapata, Silvestre, Antonini; Muntari, Boateng, Montolivo (c), De Jong, Emanuelson; Balotelli, El Shaarawy.
Subs: Amelia, Gabriel, Constant, Pacifio, Lotti, Pinato, Zaccardo, Traore, Poli, Nocerino, Cristante, Petagna, Boateng, Niang.
Previous Meeting Between Chelsea and AC Milan in the United States
2 August 2004, Philadelphia, Milan-Chelsea 3-2
24 July 2005, Boston, Milan-Chelsea 0-1
31 July 2005, New York, Milan-Chelsea 1-1
24 July 2009, Baltimora, Milan-Chelsea 1-2
29 July 2012, Miami, Chelsea-Milan 0-1