Chelsea line up Sydney friendly
Published 27/04/2015 | 08:36
Premier League champions-elect Chelsea plan to celebrate with a post-season friendly in Sydney on June 2.
The Blues on Monday announced a friendly with Sydney FC at the ANZ Stadium, a day after a goalless draw at Arsenal moved them within six points of a first Premier League title in five years.
Jose Mourinho's men have five games left to get the points required and the title could be secure as soon as Sunday with wins at Leicester and at home to Crystal Palace.
Mourinho in early April said a tour was being planned to celebrate the Capital One Cup win and now, with the Premier League title near, the plans have been announced.
International managers, including England boss Roy Hodgson, may be unhappy with the timing, with Chelsea joining Tottenham in going on a post-season tour. Spurs play Sydney FC on May 30.
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill is a key player for England, who play the Republic of Ireland in a friendly in Dublin on June 7.
Mourinho insisted Chelsea would respect the international release rules in place - players must be made available 48 hours prior to a friendly - but the trip to Australia is not ideal preparation.
"We are very pleased we are coming to Sydney at the end of our season, for the first time in more than 40 years, and we hope our Australian fans can come and watch us play," Mourinho said on chelseafc.com.
Chelsea have twice before visited Australia at the end of the season, in 1965 and 1974.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck added: "We are sure the team will put on an entertaining display as we end what has already been a memorable campaign."
Chelsea travel to North America ahead of the 2015-16 season for the International Champions Cup.