Chelsea vs. Real Sociedad: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

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Chelsea vs. Real Sociedad: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Chelsea will host Real Sociedad for their final pre-season friendly of 2014, in what could be described as a dress rehearsal for the opening weekend of the 2014-15 Premier League season.

The Blues are planning to make it a special night dedicated to both the fans and the new arrivals, and Jose Mourinho will expect his squad to show him they are ready for an assault on this year's title.

Sociedad still have a bit more time to prepare for the Spanish La Liga season, but following their loss against Newcastle United, they'll want to finish their pre-season tour of the UK on a bright note.

 

Date: Tuesday, August 12

Time: 7.45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Stamford Bridge

TV info and live stream: The match will be broadcast on Chelsea TV (for Sky subscribers), but as a special service to fans, Chelsea are offering a free high-quality live stream to anyone who registers for Chelsea Fan Club. For more information, visit the club's website by clicking here.

 

Preview

Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press

Chelsea haven't hosted a friendly match since 2006, and Mourinho has taken it upon himself to make sure the evening will become memorable. The free live stream is a nice touch, but the Blues will take things one step further.

In a statement made on the club's website, Mourinho has invited fans to come to the match an hour early, as every player will be introduced personally to the crowd in the same way the NBA does it:

Jose Mourinho requests fans arrive early for Tuesday night’s game against Real Sociedad to welcome the players onto the pitch ahead of the new season.

The whole first team squad will be introduced one by one onto the pitch at 7pm ahead of their warm-up, 45 minutes prior to kick-off at Stamford Bridge.

It is the first time we have hosted a friendly at our home since 2006, and it promises to be a memorable evening, with the sold-out crowd given the opportunity to welcome each of the players, including our new signings Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Filipe Luis and Didier Drogba, as well as returning loanees Kurt Zouma and Thibaut Courtois who are yet to sample the Chelsea atmosphere as Blues players.

There are several early-bird refreshment offers also running inside the stadium, and plenty more entertainment to amuse supporters young and old in the lead-up to the game.

It's a very nice gesture to the fans, and the new Chelsea players will no doubt love to experience the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge in such spectacular way for the first time. The fans will be far more keen on a solid result, however.

Chelsea's pre-season was good, but not perfect. The club struggled against lowly Ferencvaros, although the squad seemed to pull together when faced with adversity, a sign the team could be ready for Premier League action.

Didier Drogba's return to Stamford Bridge won't be on Tuesday, as ESPN FC's Ian Holyman reports the Ivorian could miss the start of the Premier League season. That would leave Fernando Torres as the primary backup to Diego Costa, to the dismay of Mourinho:

Real Sociedad won't get the chance to field their strongest XI, according to ESPN FC's Tom Marshall, as Carlos Vela won't be available for the visitors:

The Mexican is arguably the club's biggest star following the departure of Antoine Griezmann, but that doesn't mean the Basques don't field a quality squad. Sociedad will use the tie against Chelsea as preparation for their Europa League play-off against Krasnodar, so don't expect them to just take the match lightly.

Tuesday's match will be all about the Blues, however, and it will give the club a chance to show the Premier League they're ready to live up to their status as title favourites, according to BT Sport's Neil Warnock:

Bleacher Report's Rowanne Westhenry expects Chelsea to field their strongest possible XI, with the edge in goal going to Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian international should get his chance to prove he deserves to be the starter in front of a fired-up home crowd, and a strong performance could help make up Mourinho's mind.

The starters likely won't play long, however—this is still a pre-season friendly. With the start of the 2014-15 Premier League season just around the corner, the Blues won't take any chances by risking their top players in a match that ultimately doesn't matter.

 

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