Football is finally back. Even though it is just a pre-season friendly, its loyal fans missed the beautiful game. The US pre-season tour also starts with the Chelsea vs Wrexham match, where a dozen Premier League teams will participate. The Blues will host the newly promoted EFL League Two club at the Kenan Stadium in North Carolina.
While Chelsea had a season to forget in the 2022/23 campaign, it was quite the opposite for Wrexham. The Red Dragons had a Hollywood story in the 2022/23 season, backed by Hollywood owners. Ryan Reynold’s and Rob McElhenney’s club qualified by winning the National League by a record total of points.
It has been a different story when it comes to off-season transfers. The Blues for obvious reasons have had to dig deep into the market. Todd Boehly and Co have been quick to get rid of the deadwood from the bloated squad. A total of more than 15 first-team players have been permanently sold or released by the club. In the incoming department, Mauricio Pochettino has welcomed the likes of Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson, while a couple of promising youngsters have also been added to the roster.
Wrexham meanwhile have had the sort of window they wanted. The sole signing of William Boyle so far, Red Dragons manager Phil Parkinson wants to keep the majority core the same. No outgoings have been reported so far and that is a sign of a manager who wants to build a strong backbone for his team.
Chelsea will go into this match as favourites, at least from the physical side of things. Pochettino has got his squad to test their limits in gym and tracks and wants them to give even more. Tactically the Blues might not be ready, but they should put on a good show for their fans.
Wrexham and Parkinson will aim to try and get a result from the game to try and build momentum ahead of their first game in League Two. Any positive result from the match against Chelsea, will only boost morale further inside the Wrexham dressing room. This match should be a tight affair, considering both teams are just beginning their pre-season schedule for the new campaign.
Chelsea vs Wrexham lineups
Chelsea predicted lineup
Pochettino has almost a clean bill of health when it comes to his squad’s injury concerns. Benoit Badisashile is the only absentee with a long-term injury. Armando Broja has recovered in time and has taken part so far in pre-season training.
Reece James was reported to have felt pa in in his right knee but is said to be included in the squad. The Chelsea manager though might not risk it and will start new signing Malo Gusto ahead of him.
Predicted Chelsea lineup: Kepa, Chilwell, Fofana, Chalobah, Gusto, Enzo, Andrey Santos, Nkunku, Mudryk, Sterling, Broja.
Wrexham predicted lineup
No real injury concerns for Parksinson’s men who will look to field his strongest lineup available at his disposal. There will be mass substitutions though, as the Wrexham manager looks to build fitness ahead of a gruelling League Two campaign.
Predicted Wrexham lineup: Ben Foster, Barnett, O’Connell, Jones, O’Connor, Tozer, Mendy, Cannon, Lee, Mullin, Dalby.
Chelsea vs Wrexham predictions
Not much is at stake here for either team. But a win here will only boost morale among the players and squad which is why both teams would want to go home with a win in their bags.
The Blues on paper, look very strong when compared to their English fourth-division compatriots. However, Pochettino has only just got with this squad and the Stamford Bridge outfit might not be tactically fit as of yet.
Expect this to be a rusty affair between the two clubs with the scoreline going in Pochettino’s favour. Chelsea 2-1 Wrexham.