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Arsenal v. Chelsea: still preseason, closer to home

Londoners crossing the Irish Sea. What could go wrong?

Republic of Ireland v Armenia - EURO 2012 Qualifier Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Arsenal’s preseason preparations continue today, with another friendly away from home. This time, they called up their pals Chelsea and said “you fancy a night out in Dublin?” Chelsea said yes, so they jumped on an EasyJet and took the short flight from England’s capital to Ireland’s. They won’t be doing the stereotypical Brits-away-in-Dublin party till you puke night, though; they’ve got Very Important Business.

Well, they’ve got a friendly to play, anyway. This is the last match of the International Champions Cup for both sides, with Arsenal wrapping up their preseason against Lazio on Sunday in Stockholm, while Chelsea stay at home to take on Manchester City in the Community Shield.

With that fixture looming, Chelsea may elect to play a bunch of randos today - they might start strong and do a massive switch at half time, or they might start a bunch of kids. Either way, their preparations have been even more hectic than Arsenal’s - one game in Perth, five days later a game in Nice, and now this game in Dublin. Preseason can get dumb, and the lack of any actual games in England until the very last minute is a good illustration of that dumbness.

As I mentioned in the last preview, I can see the desire to go to, say, Singapore - people on that side of the globe never get to see their sporting heroes in the flesh, so it’s kind of a once in a lifetime thing. But Dublin? Seriously, it’s an hour and 20 minutes’ flight from London. It’s not like people in Dublin are challenged in watching the Premier League on TV, and a lot of Dubliners have really strong London connections and go there regularly.

This game could have easily been held in London, saving wear and tear on the players at the start of a long season, but oh well. Enjoy!

Arsenal v. Chelsea
International Champions Cup
Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Wednesday, August 1, 2018
12.05 PM PT/3.05PM ET/8.05 IT/BT

US streaming: Fubo/SlingTV
Worldwide streaming:

Audio-only available on Arsenal Player.