Chelsea will take on Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at the new Yankee Stadium this Monday, a game featuring two powerful European sides coming off interesting summers.
Chelsea ended last campaign on a high note, besting Bayern Munich in the Champions League final—in what would turn out to be Didier Drogba's last game with the Blues.
PSG, unsatisfied with last season's finish, spent an excess of $135 this summer, luring a number of high-profile transfers, many from AC Milan.
There are scant higher-profile venues than the new Yankee Stadium––between the setting and all the star power on the field, this preseason friendly should still be a must-see event.
When: July 22, 7:00 pm
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Watch: Foxsoccer.tv (available at 11:59)
Will Lukaku Continue Pushing For Playing Time?
With Didier Drogba moving on from Chelsea to Shanghai this offseason, Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge became the presumed favorites to spearhead the Blues' attack.
Not so fast, my friend.
Young Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku came to play in Chelsea's first game this summer, scoring two goals in a comfortable 4-2 over the Seattle Sounders. The competition wasn't ideal, but it was still a statement from Lukaku, who clearly realizes the opportunity he's been presented with.
Going up against PSG, a quality European side, Lukaku will have a chance to stake a more legitimate claim to playing time up front, and make both Torress and Sturridge feel a little nervous about their starting jobs.
PSG's Offseason Spending Spree
Paris Saint-Germain had one of the highest-profile offseasons in the world this summer, and while their prize signing won't be available quite yet, their other new toys could be.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not expected to debut until a June 28 match against D.C. United, but Thiago Silva, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marco Verratti could all be in the lineup against Chelsea. Playing the defending Champions League winners is not exactly the easiest way to transition a new group of players, but there's something to be said about doing a "trial by fire."
PSG has spent an estimated $137 million on new players this summer, making it clear that anything but a Ligue 1 title will not suffice in 2012. Beating Chelsea would be the perfect way to start that journey.
Chelsea Newcomers Making Waves
The Blues may be without Drogba and Anelka this upcoming season, but they added two offensive-minded players, both of whom could factor into 2012 in a big way.
Eden Hazard and Marko Marin both joined Lukaku in scoring against Seattle, making their Chelsea debuts very successful. The level of competition will rise against PSG, but if they continue to impress, Chelsea fans won't be as anxious heading into a season sans their two former strikers.
Hazard scored 20 goals to go with 15 assists for Lille last season, and some have compared him to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. His progression, in particular, is of the utmost concern to the Blues on this preseason tour.