Chelsea v Club America, World Football Challenge, July 27, 2009
Save for the continual John Terry black clouds which have hovered overhead for the past three weeks, Chelsea’s American tour could hardly have gone better on the pitch as the West Londoners appear to be primed to challenge once again for the Premier League crown.
The Blues’ American adventure began with a simple 2-nil win over the Seattle Sounders. Matters were cranked up when Chelsea came up against former manager Jose Mourinho at the Rose Bowl, but Carlo Ancelotti’s charges once again ran out winners with a comfortable 2-nil defeat of Inter Milan. Then, on Friday night new-boy Carlo was offered the opportunity to get one over on his previous employers AC Milan, and again Chelsea proved victorious with a narrow 2-1 win.
In doing so, many of Chelsea’s key player have been given hefty workouts in the pre-season friendlies. Fielding his best players, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard (5/4 to score) and Didier Drogba (3/1 to score first) have all chalked up significant playing time in the warm-ups matches, while new-boys Daniel Sturridge and Yuri Zhirkov have marked their early days at the Bridge with a couple of important goals.
Before returning to Blighty, Chelsea will have one last run-outy Stateside taking on Mexican giants Club America on Sunday night in Dallas.
Club America may not be headline-grabbers akin to the Milan powerhouses, but the Mexicans should undoubtably be respected having themselves collected wins over Inter Milan (on penalties) and against AC Milan in the World Football Challenge.
Of players to keep an eye out for, Daniel Marquez and Enrique Esqueda (7/2 to score) scored for Club America inside the Georgia Dome, while of the Mexican internationals in the squad, club captain Pavel Pardo is central to the team’s success after having returned from a three-year spell at Stuttgart.
The Mexicans will also be buoyed by the unveiling of their latest new signing, Argentine international Daniel Montenegro (10/3 to score), who arrives in brilliant form having scored 40 goals in 104 matches for Independiente.
101predicts: Chelsea 2 – Club America 0 (9/2)
Full match odds here.