Chelsea have announced that they will travel to Australia in pre-season to play Sydney FC at one of the most iconic sporting venues in the country, according to reports.
A crowd of 83,000 is expected to watch the Premiership champions-elect play the A-League side known as the Sky Blues at the ANZ Stadium, more commonly used for Rugby Union. Negotiations are at an advanced stage and the deal to play the match should be announced at some point next week. It will be the first time Chelsea have played in Australia, and it will demonstrate once again the growing profile of Chelsea FC around the world. Since the 2003 takeover by Roman Abramovich, Chelsea have focused their pre-season activities primarily on North America and the Far East, that is when they have left Europe, which they did not do last summer.
The news also comes after Chelsea confirmed their second participation in the Champions Cup in the United States this summer, and they will join a host of other European clubs in Australia, including Manchester City, Spurs, Roma and Real Madrid, all of whom will be playing matches in the country this year. It is not believed that Chelsea will play any other A-League team during their stay.