Doing Midweek Kick a little differently this week, given the circumstances:
For the first time since July 2011, the Revolution will host a Premier League side at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday night as Chelsea FC comes to Foxborough for the Final Whistle on Hate friendly match (8 p.m., FS1/WBZ-FM 98.5). As reported back in December, this match came together from Revs investor/operator Robert Kraft and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who are both donating a significant sum of money as well as the gate receipts to international programs designed to combat antisemitism.
All of that is excellent. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: antisemitism and racism do not belong in our Beautiful Game.
However — and this is not a criticism, no matter how much it sounds like one — this friendly match would have been better played in July, before Chelsea begins both the domestic and European calendar. The Revs hosted Manchester United as part of the World Football Challenge in 2011, did so in July, during a part of the season where the fixtures weren’t necessarily as congested as they are now for the home side.
And as for Chelsea, the Blues have played upward of 66 matches already this season as part of the recently completed Premier League campaign, an unbeaten Europa League slate, as well as the various competitions. And don’t forget: the West Londoners will play Arsenal FC in two weeks for the Europa League crown in Baku. Certainly, Chelsea has tired legs and are preparing for its most important match of the season.
For the preview, subscribe and continue reading.
That known — plus with the Revolution traveling up to Montreal (Saturday, 1 p.m.), and hopefully doing so without the issues that L’Impact faced three weeks ago — we’re not really expecting a cracking match of football on Route 1 Wednesday.
And while we know how Chelsea play — out of the back, will push numbers forward into the attacking third in an effort to overwhelm opponents — we give you these questions three:
What type of lineup does Maurizio Sarri put out for the Blues? And will Chelsea actually give an effort?