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European qualification, honours 2017-18


Chelsea to face Perth Glory in Australia in post-World Cup friendly

The FC guys address rumours that former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is the top choice to replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea.
The FC guys address rumours that former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is the top choice to replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea.

Chelsea's preseason friendly against Australian side Perth Glory has been confirmed for July 23, eight days after the World Cup final.

The fixture -- which Chelsea first announced in January 2017 -- will be played at the new 60,000-seat Optus Stadium, which opened last month.

Despite the fact that a number of Chelsea players could miss the trip if they are given extended breaks after the World Cup, which concludes on July 15, chairman Bruce Buck insisted that plenty of high-profile names will be present.

"We will be taking a strong squad to Perth as we prepare for the 2018-19 season," Buck said in the announcement on Chelsea's website. "Of course, we have a long way to go in the current campaign but we can already look forward to an exciting pre-season.

"Optus Stadium will be a fantastic and fitting venue for us to visit our passionate Australian supporters once more and take part in an entertaining match against Perth Glory."

The multi-purpose Optus Stadium has hosted several cricket matches since opening last month.

Chelsea travelled to Sydney shortly after becoming Premier League champions in 2014-15, but have not visited Perth since beating a Western Australia side 1-0 in a friendly in 1974.

"This venue is truly spectacular," said former Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, Australia's most capped international player. "I know the team will be hugely excited to be the first Premier League club to play here.

"There are thousands of passionate Chelsea supporters across Australia and southeast Asia. I'd encourage them to come and watch the team play at this world-class venue and take some extra time to enjoy the very best of Perth and Western Australia."

Chelsea are also expected to play several friendlies in Europe ahead of the new Premier League season, which kicks off on Aug. 11.

Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.


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