Antonio Conte has arrived at Chelsea with heightened expectations following Italy’s impressive run in the Euros where they progressed to the Quarter-finals before eventually being beaten by Germany on penalties. The Stamford Bridge outfit, who are on the back of a disappointing season in the Premier League, performed disastrously, leading to Jose Mourinho losing his dressing room and eventually his job. The big name players who failed miserably to repay the manager’s faith in them will be looking to brush off last season’s blemishes and win back the trust of the fans.
After a summer of change, it’s been a quieter pre-season for Chelsea so far as they begin a new era under Antonio Conte. The Blues have played two friendlies, enduring mixed results with a 2-0 defeat to Rapid Vienna followed by a 3-0 success over Austrian side Wolfsberger AC. Despite their indifferent start to pre-season, a big campaign is expected from the Blues who are looking for a strong domestic season without European football.
Conte now has the full squad at his disposal, with international players having returned, and the Italian has taken a 30-man squad on the tour. That doesn’t include Kante, who has yet to join up with his new teammates or John Obi Mikel, who is preparing for the Olympic Games with Nigeria.
Chelsea face domestic rivals Liverpool in their first match of the International Champions Cup 2016 and will look to get off to a winning start. In the pre-match conference, Conte was respectful of his opposition number and stressed on the need to get things right first and then focus on the results.
“Jurgen Klopp worked already for six months with this team and it’s very important for him and Liverpool to understand each other. Liverpool is a great team and can fight at the end to win the title with the other teams.
“It’s important to work and have the time to transfer your methods and ideas of football. Liverpool is one of the best teams in the league and I’m sure Liverpool can fight to win the title. It is a good game for us, but winning is not the most important thing. We try to work on different aspects, and we’ve worked a lot. But we want to play a good game and I want to see improvement from my players.
“A game against a good opponent is a good game and I’m very curious to see my team against Liverpool.”
While he has experimented with his teams and formations, Conte might look to try out a formation which according to the Brazilian international, Oscar, Chelsea have been trying out in training. With his main men back he might look to trial the 4-2-4 formation in the first half.
The predicted line-up is-