SYDNEY, Australia, Jan 29 – English Premier League giants Chelsea will play the A-League’s Perth Glory in a friendly next year in the team’s only Australian appearance, officials said Sunday.
The match will take place in late July or early August at Perth’s new 65,000-capacity stadium, Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett said in a statement.
Officials are hopeful Antonio Conte’s side — the 2014-15 Premier League champions and current league leaders — will attract fans from across the island continent and from Asia.
“This is an enormous opportunity for not only football fans, but sport fans in general, from around the nation and the Asia-Pacific region, to witness one of the best and biggest clubs in the world to play in our own backyard,” Glory’s chief executive Peter Filopoulos said.
There has been a growing trend of top clubs choosing Australia as a warm-up destination.
Arsenal, currently second behind Chelsea in the EPL standings, are playing two pre-season friendlies in Sydney this year.
A string of other clubs including Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid have visited Australia in recent years.
Perth Glory are currently fifth on the A-League table.
London club Chelsea — owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich — last played in Sydney in 2015, the club’s first game in the country for 41 years.