Chelsea will round off their preparations for the 2022-23 Premier League campaign with a friendly against Italian side Udinese in Udine on Friday night.
The Blues are now little over a week away from the start of their league season away to Everton, while Udinese will be in competitive action next time out against either Sudtirol or FeralpiSalo in the Coppa Italia.
Udinese finished 12th in Serie A last season, which proved to be their joint-best position in Italy’s top flight since 2013, so it went down as a successful campaign for the club.
The White and Blacks will face Sudtirol or FeralpiSalo in the Coppa Italia on August 5, with their Serie A campaign due to begin away to the champions AC Milan on August 13.
Udinese have been busy this summer in terms of friendlies, playing four times in total, including a 2-1 victory over Pafos on July 25, which followed a 2-1 defeat to Bundesliga giants Bayer Leverkusen.
Andrea Sottil’s side have also been active during the summer market, bringing in Beto, Destiny Udogie, Jaka Bijol, Leonardo Buta, Festy Ebosele, Sandi Lovric and Adam Masina.
There have also been a number of exits at the club ahead of the 2022-23 campaign, with the most notable of those being Mamadou Coulibaly, who has joined fellow Serie A side Salernitana.
Chelsea, meanwhile, will enter this match off the back of a 4-0 defeat to Premier League rivals Arsenal in the final match of their pre-season tour on July 23.
Head coach Thomas Tuchel was critical of his side in the aftermath of the four-goal loss in Florida, with the German questioning the commitment of his players and also insisting that his team “deserved to lose”.
The Blues played three times in North America, starting their preparations for the new season with a 2-1 victory over Club America before losing to Charlotte FC on penalties following a 1-1 draw.
Chelsea will now play once more against Udinese before opening their 2022-23 Premier League campaign against Everton on August 6, while their first home game of the new season sees them welcome Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur side on August 14.
The Blues have brought in Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly this summer to boost their squad, but they appear to have missed out on Jules Kounde to Barcelona, which will force the capital giants to look elsewhere when it comes to bringing another centre-back to the squad.
Udinese friendlies form:
Udinese form (all competitions):
Chelsea friendlies form:
Chelsea form (all competitions):
We say: Udinese 1-2 Chelsea
Chelsea boss Tuchel will be demanding a response from his players following their disappointing performance against Arsenal last time out, and we are expecting an improvement from the Blues, tipping the Premier League side to run out narrow winners against their Serie A opponents.