(Sporting Alert) — Champions League winner Chelsea will kick-start their preseason with a friendly game against MLS outfits Seattle Sounders on Wednesday night.
Chelsea are hoping to make a strong run at winning the Barclays Premier League title this season and are looking to use every game in the preseason as part of the preparations.
Manager Roberto Di Matteo, who was given the job after leading the team to the Champions League crown as an interim, has admitted that he is excited about his team’s preparations for the forthcoming season.
“We’re looking forward to playing [tonight], we’ve been training for a while and the game just wakes those nerves a bit and brings excitement for the players,” Di Matteo said.
“The experience so far has been excellent. The training facilities are very good and we’ve been able to train twice a day for the first two days. The weather has been pretty good as well, not too hot, not too cold and it’s perfect for pre-season.”
He added: “Pre-season friendly games are important to transfer what we are doing in training. It’s a physical test, and we’re still trying to increase our physical performance. The freshness won’t be there yet but we will try to set our stamp on our first games and try to develop that.
“I’ve watched the Sounders a little bit and know their system of play. I followed the game they had against Red Bulls on Monday, and we have information about them.”
All the players are looking to impress the boss, but new signing Marko Marin, in particular, is hoping his first outing in a Chelsea shirt will help cement a regular slot.
“First I have to say the training ground is unbelievable,” Marin said. “I never saw something so big, and I think we trained now a lot and are all happy we have a game Wednesday.
“All of us want to show something to the manager and to show his qualities. For me it’s my first game for Chelsea and it’s something special too.
“I want to show what I can and what my qualities are. I want to do my best and hope that I will play in the league too.”