The Blues make a quick stop off in Austria for the sixth game of seven of their pre-season campaign
After returning back to England continue their pre-season preparations, Chelsea make a quick pit-stop in Austria for their penultimate fixture of pre-season against Red Bull Salzburg.
WHO ARE RED BULL SALZBURG?
FC Red Bull Salzburg – nicknamed Die Roten Bullen (The Red Bulls) – was founded back in 1933 as SV Austria Salzburg. The club changed their name multiple times (to SV Casino Salzburg in 1978 to SV Wüstenrot Salzburg in 1997) before the Red Bull company purchased the club in 2005 and rebranded the team to its current name.
Salzburg play in the Austrian Bundesliga, with them being the current champions and having won the league on thirteen occasions, including the last six consecutive seasons (2013-14 to 2018-19).
Their Red Bull Arena (known as Stadion Salzburg during UEFA club competitions) was opened in 2003 at a cost of €45m (£40m), with the stadium having a capacity of 31,895.
Salzburg started their 2019-20 season last week, beating Rapid Wien 2-0 on the opening day.
STAR PLAYER – DOMINIK SZOBOSZLAI
The main threat from Salzburg tonight will be their teenage prodigy Dominik Szoboszlai, who is seen as the future of Hungarian football.
A central midfielder with great footwork, dribbling skills and lightning pace, expect big things from the 18-year-old in the future.
Another youngster to watch out for is Erling Braut Håland, their 19-year-old Norwegian striker who recently scored nine goals in one game at the FIFA U-20 World Cup earlier this summer.
MANAGER – JESSE MARSCH
The current manager of Salzburg is Jesse Marsch, who joined the club last month taking over from Marco Rose. Before joining Salzburg, Marsch was the manager of the Salzburg’s sister club, Red Bull Leipzig.
Tonight’s match between the two teams will be the first time they face each other.
After the crazy 4-3 victory over Reading last weekend, expect Chelsea to start playing their strongest possible starting XI’s with only two pre-season games left before the opening game of the Premier League against Manchester United.
The Blues remain without the injured quartet of Antonio Rüdiger, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James, with Willian and N’Golo Kanté close to returning to action as they continue their recoveries at Cobham.
Frank Lampard will continue to be looking to build a team for his preferred 4-2-3-1 system, although there is a possibility of the ‘Diamond 4-4-2’ being tried out one more time before next Sunday’s opening game.
From an educated guess, we can expect that Lampard has roughly seven to eight positions already decided for the visit of Old Trafford, with the only possible positions still up for grabs be partnering David Luiz in the centre of defence, playing on the left-hand side of the attacking midfield ‘3’ and also the lone centre-forward.
Don’t be surprised to see the likes of Andreas Christensen, Mason Mount and Michy Batshuayi start as they continue to make a claim for a starting spot on the opening weekend of the season.
HOW TO WATCH
You can watch today’s game via two options – on the official website (£10.99 for the entire preseason on the website) or on ‘The 5th Stand’ app (£1.99 per game). For those watching outside the UK & Ireland, the game will be screened live on EPSN+.
Let’s hope for a win, a good performance and no injuries from tonight’s game as we get even closer to Man Utd on the opening weekend of the season.