Chelsea plan Japan trip during 2019/20 pre-season

Chelsea celebrate during the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Chelsea and Derby County at Stamford Bridge on October 31, 2018 in London, England.
Image: Chelsea will visit Japan for only the second time

Chelsea have announced plans to play a match in Japan during pre-season ahead of the 2019/20 season.

It is the first of next campaign's pre-season friendlies the Blues have confirmed, although the venue and opposition are yet to be finalised.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said: "We are looking forward to visiting Japan again and we will take the strongest squad possible to play in front of our fans there."

David Luiz, Chelsea vs Corinthians
Image: Chelsea were beaten by Corinthians in the final of the 2012 Club World Championship in Japan

Dider Drogba, the former Chelsea striker who has recently retired, is currently in Japan as part of his work as a club ambassador.

He said: "It will be an amazing experience for the Chelsea players to play in Japan.

"Having been here just 24 hours, I have already seen the passion football fans here in the country have so I am sure it will be a fantastic occasion for everybody."

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Chelsea have only visited Japan on one previous occasion, when they competed in the 2012 Club World Championship.

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Rafa Benitez was the manager at the time, and he led them to the final, where they lost to Brazilian side Corinthians.

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