WFC Preview: Chelsea, PSG to make history at Yankee Stadium
This World Football Challenge match will not only entertain. It will make history.
Sunday night's match between European champions Chelsea and French powers Paris Saint-Germain (7 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer and Univision Deportes) will be the first ever soccer match played at the new Yankee Stadium, which underwent a field conversion this week.
It's a compelling match-up of the current UEFA Champions League winners (Chelsea) against a team that is looking to make a run at the European title by collecting a host of world stars in the most impressive transfer campaign in Europe.
Paris Saint-Germain manager Carlo Ancelotti won't have star signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic at his disposal just yet — he arrives on Tuesday — but another of the newcomers, Italian Marco Verratti, will play the second half of the match against Chelsea, according to the head coach, who also announced that Christophe Jallet will serve as captain.
Ancelotti, who coached Chelsea from 2009-2011, confirmed he will not field a first-choice lineup against Chelsea from the squad of 23 PSG players available to him. That list does not include Mohamed Sissoko, who is rehabbing an inflamed knee in Qatar.
The most recent preseason test for PSG came against Russian side CSKA Moscow to wrap up a nine-day training camp in Austria. It was a match they led 2-0 on second-half goals by Peguy Luyindula and Kévin Gameiro before settling for a 2-2 tie.
That PSG starting lineup against CSKA featured this XI: Nicolas Douchez - Milan Bisevac, Alex, Mamadou Sakho, Sylvain Armand – Javier Pastore, Mathieu Bodmer, Clement Chantôme, Nene – Guillaume Hoarau, Ezequiel Lavezzi.
As for Chelsea, the team came away unscathed from their opening 4-2 win against Seattle Sounders in midweek which saw newcomers Marko Marin and Eden Hazard impress: Henrique Hilario -- Paulo Ferreira, David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic, Nathaniel Chalobah -- Marko Marin, Joshua McEachran, John Obi Mikel, Eden Hazard, Yossi Benayoun – Romelu Lukaku.
With the likes of Gary Cahill, Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Ramires and Kevin De Bruyne coming off the bench in Seattle, and John Terry and Raul Meireles joining the squad in New York, Di Matteo will have plenty of options to shuffle the squad that takes the field against PSG.
Unavailable for the match will be Chelsea youngsters Todd Kane, Patrick Bamford and George Saville, who have all returned to the club's home base in England.