For the first time since March 2020, Stamford Bridge will experience maximum capacity in Chelsea's friendly versus Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night.
Despite the fixture being a pre-season game, both managers will look to field first team players in a late bid to increase match sharpness before the beginning of the Premier League season next weekend.
Thomas Tuchel and Nuno Espírito Santo meet for the second time since the German arrived at Chelsea in January. Both managers will look to capitalise on the opportunity to play Premier League opposition in the build up to a defining season for both London clubs, who both share large ambitions after being active in the transfer market.
With the Super Cup a week away it is imperative for Tuchel to give players who featured in the European Championship game time this evening. With one of the most competitive first six games on record, Chelsea need to build sharpness and momentum to give the squad the best possible head start going into a season defining August and September.
Kai Havertz's dominating first 45 versus Arsenal on Sunday highlighted the importance of pre-season, a golden opportunity to build player confidence before the season begins.
As the of signing of Romelu Lukaku closes and links to Jules Kounde intensifying, there is real belief amongst the Chelsea faithful that this season could be the year where Chelsea lift their sixth Premier League title.
Wednesday's game should act as a marker for Chelsea who should impose their quality on a dejected Tottenham side who are on the brink of losing marksman Harry Kane. With a win being vital, the Blues could send a real warning to other challengers that they’re continuing from where they left off last season.
Chelsea are renown to have talent in depth coming out of Cobham and tonights squad will be inundated with personnel trying to impress the manager in order to get a role in the squad for this campaign. Notably, Ruben Loftus-Cheek who is adored by Chelsea fans has a chance to reintroduce himself into the fray after a two year absence from the west-London squad.
The 25-year-old has had strong back to back performances this pre season and faces a new test this evening against a Tottenham side with talent to match him in the middle of the park. Regardless if Loftus-Cheek starts or not it is undeniable that fixtures like tonight are defining for fringe players and acts as a final audition for them in front of Tuchel who has an open approach when it comes to incorporating new players into the squad.
As well as the fixture being an intense rivalry, the 'friendly' match has everything Chelsea fans could want in a pre-season encounter. The opportunity for the first-team to build momentum, experimenting with tactics, and the chance to see players from outside the squad is a perfect mix for the Blues who are looking to maximise preparation before their opening league match versus Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on August 14.