Chelsea vs. Malaysia XI: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
Chelsea's Asian preseason tour moves to Malaysia as the Blues take on a Malaysia XI side on Sunday.
The club had a bit of a hard time against Singha All-Stars, but its 1-0 win was much better than the 1-0 loss Manchester United suffered against the same team earlier this summer.
With Chelsea making some moves this summer and welcoming in players from loan, the preseason is a great chance for Jose Mourinho to get an idea of which players he'll be calling upon in the upcoming season. Everybody knows how important the likes of Juan Mata, Ashley Cole, Petr Cech, Eden Hazard and Ramires will be. There are a lot of players, though, whose roles in the club are still up in the air.
Although you can't read too much into preseason friendlies, it's much better for supporters to see the club show some cohesion on the pitch and the younger players start establishing themselves.
Here's the viewing info for Chelsea's upcoming friendly with Malaysia XI, followed by three players to watch.
When: Sunday, July 21, at 2:45 BST (9:45 a.m. ET)
Where: Shah Alam Stadium, Shah Alam, Malaysia
Watch: Chelsea TV
Live Stream: Chelsea TV
Players to Watch
Marco van Ginkel
Marco van Ginkel came on as a substitute to start the second half and looked very good in his Chelsea debut.
The Dutch midfielder showed a lot of promise at Vitesse, but it's still a bit of a question as to whether he'll become a key player so soon at Chelsea. Jose Mourinho is backing the 20-year-old to do well, so that's only going to help.
Van Ginkel is not the same kind of developed player that Eden Hazard was when he arrived at Stamford Bridge. Van Ginkel needs playing time right now to fully develop, and Mourinho might be tempted to play a more established player if van Ginkel struggles to get going early in the season.
If he can hit the ground running, van Ginkel can be a tremendous box-to-box midfielder for Chelsea. He's got a limitless amount of energy and is equally skilled playing in a deeper defensive role or moving up the pitch as more of an attacker.
Kevin de Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne is another young midfielder who will be looking to make an impression on Mourinho this preseason. With so many players away after the Confederations Cup, this is the time for young players like de Bruyne to get a lot of time on the pitch.
The 22-year-old Belgian had a very successful loan spell at Werder Bremen last year. He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in 33 Bundesliga appearances.
The temptation was there for Chelsea to loan him out again, but Mourinho has been adamant that de Bruyne will play a role for the Blues.
After his performance in Chelsea's first friendly, it's easy to see why. De Bruyne is skilled on the ball and has great vision. He also has some versatility as he's best in the center of the pitch but very effective on the left. When thinking about the Blues' young attackers, it's scary to think where this club could be in a couple of years.
One young midfielder who might be crowded out of Chelsea for the time being is Lucas Piazon. He spent half a season on loan at Malaga last year and is returning to a squad that's only gotten stronger in midfield.
Piazon is not going to get any better by hanging around Chelsea this season. With van Ginkel and de Bruyne as competition, it's hard seeing the Brazilian getting the upper hand anytime soon.
Since moving from Sao Paulo in 2011, Piazon has had little impact on Chelsea. It could be a case of making the move to a big club too early in a career. Piazon had yet to fully establish himself in Brazil but decided a move to Stamford Bridge was the right choice.
There's no doubting Piazon's potential. Right now, the best move for him is likely another loan deal. This friendly is a good chance for other teams to get a good look at him and decide that he's a player who could be brought into the fold for a season.
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