Three years back, Serbian international, Nemanja Matic was transferred to Portuguese giants Benfica along with 24 million euros in a swap deal for David Luiz. Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho had already identified central midfield as an area that needed some strengthening following the long-term injury to Marco van Ginkel.
The Portuguese tactician was desperate to have an imposing presence in the middle for his team and Nemanja Matic, at 6ft 4inch fits the profile perfectly.
The Serb is likely to pair up with Ramires in the centre of the midfield which will give the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian freedom to express themselves more on the field.
Year after year, Arsene Wenger states his desire to end Arsenal's trophy drought, but at the end the season, the Gunners continue to come up short.
This time around, the French manager went out and made a big purchase by signing Mesut Özil…
Preview: A frustrated Mourinho would not accept dropping more points
Making a return to Chelsea was never going to be easy for Jose Mourinho, especially after the success he had in his first stint with the club. Claiming titles always raises expectations for the future, and having returned to Stamford Bridge, the Special One's start to the season has not gone all that well.
Chelsea is currently fifth in the Premier League with 11 points, which is four less than league leading Arsenal. Now while it is still very early in the season, dropping seven points in the first six matches could be fatal later in the season.
Having served the Special One as his right man at three different clubs, this will be the first time Mourinho and AVB will find themselves in different dug outs. Andre Villa Boas has previously assisted the current Chelsea manager during his last stint at Chelsea as well as his successful spells at Porto and at Inter Milan.
Even though the two worked along for quite some time Tottenham’s Portuguese tactician is of the belief that the relationship between the two has broken down.
"I don't lose any sleep. We had a great personal and professional relationship before. We don't have that now,” said the 35 year old.
One of the common things of these two sides is that both are teams in transition and are adapting to a new style of football under their respective managers. The summer transfer window saw both sides spend a fortune on new players. However, one has to admit that it is Andre Villas-Boas’ side that have managed to do a far better job in this period. Jose Mourinho’s side have struggled quite a lot and are far from a finished product.
Regardless, Saturday’s game will be more about bragging rights and three points. This game will be the litmus test for both managers and will also be a great chance for the two to get back each other and for one, a chance to get back at a club whose owner showed him the door so unceremoniously.
The Capital One Cup has been considered to be one of the least important competitions in England, but regardless of that, no team goes into a match wanting to be eliminated.
This week, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham will get a chance to potentially field some younger players, but progressing to the next round will certainly be on their mind.
For the Gunners, their current run of form gives their fans a new found confidence. An opening defeat against Aston Villa did not sit well amongst the Arsenal faithful, but the players, the board and management have done their job to bounce back brilliantly.
Preview: Bayern Munich is out for revenge after Allianz Arena let down
Two seasons ago, the stage was set for Bayern Munich to claim the UEFA Champions League title in front of their home fans. Unfortunately for them, Roberto Di Matteo had other plans, and his Chelsea side left Bayern fans, players and staff members wondering what had just happened.
Drogba's late header, along with his penalty kick to see off the Bavarians, will forever be a memory Bayern fans will not be able to forget.
One season later, the German side now holds the Champions League title, while Chelsea defeated Benfica in the Europa League final, setting up a grudge match between the two sides.
In what is definitely a one of a kind scenario, neither of these managers was in charge of their respective sides when they claimed glory in Europe last season, with Bayern Munich lifting the UEFA Champions League crown under Jupp Heynckes and Chelsea winning the UEFA Europa League under the guidance of Rafael Benitez.
During the summer, both clubs got their men who shared a fierce and intense rivalry between 2010 and 2012 when Mourinho was at Real Madrid while Pep was at Barcelona. And it was the Barcelona manager who always had the upper hand in this particular rivalry.
Preview: Los Blancos tipped for a wonderful start
Sunday marks a fresh start for the all-new Real Madrid squad – boosted by the fitness of Cristiano Ronaldo and the signings of Isco among others. Gone are the days of Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese manager left to Chelsea earlier this summer, allowing Los Blancos to free themselves from the turbulence that resulted in a poor finish to the 2012/13 club football season.
Carlo Ancelotti, with the help of Zinedine Zidane, has brought relief in the camp. Thanks to his openness, the players were able to enjoy their summer tour in USA; they delighted fans – signing autographs and putting on great shows to eventually claim the 2013 International Champions Cup.
During the pre-season campaign, Italian boss Ancelotti tried out several options – one of which included playing Cristiano Ronaldo as a number 9. While speculations continue to link Gareth Bale to a late arrival at the Bernabeu, Real Madrid are expected to stick to the formation that helped them defeat Chelsea 3-1 in the ICC final.
Chelsea 2013-14 Season Review
Season Start: August 18, 2013
Season End: May 11, 2014
Chelsea fans have so much to look forward to this football year. With the Special One returning to his old stomping ground both Roman Abramovich and the Chelsea faithful will be expecting to see a shiny cabinet of silverware by Matchday 38.
Mourinho’s style has been witnessed around Europe. However, the Premier League is a completely different prospect from Jose’s first era.
The new season will test the Portuguese coach from the off with a monumental fixture to his second favourite ground in the UK as the Blues visit Old Trafford. Times have changed at Manchester United and the former Internazionale and Real Madrid boss will be looking to build a similar relationship with David Moyes as to the one he had with Sir Alex Ferguson. Watch out for a healthy competition created by Mou's mind games in 2013/14.
Preview: Mourinho seeking vengeance against former employees
The match which promises to be a spectacle has received considerable hype thanks to Chelsea head coach Jose Mourinho who began the war of words as soon as he sensed a Madrid-Chelsea tie was on the cards.
The Portuguese hit out not only at his former club who relieved him of his duties last season, but he also made it a point to constantly criticize his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo.
Pleasure guaranteed with Mourinho’s Chelsea, Ronaldo’s Real Madrid and co.
Say goodbye to the World Football Challenge without pouring a single tear because the excitement of its replacement – the International Champions Cup – is just as high. ESPN channels, DirecTV, FOX Soccer, Sony Six and SuperSports are among the competition's broadcasters in USA, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
The United States of America are represented by David Beckham’s former side, Los Angeles Galaxy, while seven other European teams complete the list of participants.
Reigning UEFA Europa League winners Chelsea will be guided by the one and only Jose Mourinho. The Blues are joined by fellow English Premier League contenders Everton. The Toffees will be glad to clinch good results under Roberto Martinez as life with David Moyes is a thing of the past.
The Guinness International Champions Cup has some Italian spices to it in the form of Serie A's trio composed of Mario Balotelli’s AC Milan, Scudetto champions Juventus and 2010 treble winners Internazionale. And of course, the fiesta cannot be sparked without the glamour of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid – currently holders of the Supercopa de Espana. Los Blancos are in USA with their Spanish La Liga rivals, Valencia.
There is so much to witness such as the attacking partnership of Llorente and Tevez in Juve’s team. This friendly contest also appears as an opportunity for young prodigies like Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku, ex-Barcelona B starlet Gerard Deulofeu and Spanish winger Jese Rodriguez to shine.
International Champions Cup 2013 Live Streaming and TV Listings
LiveSoccerTV presents accurate live TV schedules of the matches. The info below is restricted to viewers in USA:
Surprisingly Mourinho’s main target has been his compatriot and Real Madrid golden boy Cristiano Ronaldo, against who the former Porto boss has made a string of comments. Things started heating up between the two during Mourinho’s final days at the club, evidence of which was Ronaldo yelping out insults at his boss after scoring his 200th goal for the club against Malaga.
Ronaldo’s actions were a direct response to comments made by Jose a week before the match, who claimed that the team had failed to retain the La Liga title because they began the new season“sad”, which was the exact word Ronaldo had used to describe his emotional state after he chose not to celebrate his goals against Granada on the 2nd of September 2012.
Preview: Mourinho’s road to home; Mazzari’s journey to uncharted waters
He won aplenty at Chelsea but his failure to win the big trophy saw him head out. At Inter Milan, Mourinho achieved the dream treble including the holy grail, the UEFA Champions League. When he left Massimo Moratti and the club, Inter fell apart. Jose Mourinho eventually found his way back to Chelsea after a mixed spell at Real Madrid. In each passing press conference, he seems more and more at home.
He selected a 25-man squad for this competition including new signings Andre Schürrle and Marco Van Ginkel as well as loan returnee Kevin De Bruyne. Initially the squad consisted of 26 members. However, Tomas Kalas had to pull out due to an injury.
Preview: Mourinho poised to take the BNI Cup home
The Blues have a huge fan base in Indonesia and the purpose of this friendly is to honour the good relationship between the London-based club and partner Bank Negara Indonesia. At this moment, every Chelsea supporter probably shares the opinion of the club’s chief executive, Ron Gourlay.
“We can expect a fantastic match against a strong opposition,” Gourlay stated on the Blues’ official website.
“And it is my hope that we will be able to leave an important legacy in terms of the community work we conduct during the tour and for long afterwards.”
Jose Mourinho has been enjoying his return as Chelsea coach. This summer, the Portuguese attention-seeker has captivated the media in Asia with his humour at press conferences. However, he might not allow room for jokes when Chelsea take on Indonesia All Stars this Thursday.
Although this is only pre-season football, Mourinho loves to win. He will be looking to celebrate his side’s first ever visit to Jakarta with the BNI Cup in his hands.
Where to watch the match – live stream, start time, TV channels
The Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta comes alive this Thursday at 20:30 local time. In Canada and the United States, viewers may be waking up to this exciting friendly match or watching it live over breakfast.
Watch Indonesia All Stars vs Chelsea live:
Preview: Jose Mourinho’s first game since leaving Madrid
At long last, Jose Mourinho will experience his first match as the head of Chelsea’s managerial staff since leaving Stamford Bridge for spells in Italy with Internazionale and in Spain with Real Madrid. The Blues will face Singha All Star XI, hoping to open their 2013 Asia Tour on a positive note.
However, the Thailand dream team is not to be taken lightly following its victory over David Moyes’ Manchester United, last weekend. Looking at the squad choices, it seems the ‘Happy One’ is keen on winning at all cost – regardless of the fact that this game is only meant to warm up the players.
Mourinho will call on skipper John Terry, veteran midfielder Frank Lampard and prolific striker Romelu Lukaku. Summer signing Andre Schurrle is also set to complete the London side's first XI.
Chelsea enjoyed a great end to their season under interim manager Rafael Benitez. Despite failing to retain their FA Cup crown, the Blues finished third in the English Premier League to claim automatic UEFA Champions League group stage tickets. They also went all the way to glory in the UEFA Europa League, defeating Portuguese giants Benfica in the final of the tournament with goals from Fernando Torres and defender Branislav Ivanovic.
Jose Mourinho has his eyes set on instant success on his return to his beloved club. Preparations begin this Wednesday, far away in Asia.
Where to watch the match live – start time, live stream, TV channels
Chelsea TV provides you with international coverage of the game through the Pre-Season Live program which starts at 13:45 BST. The studio will have Ben Andrews and Jason Cundy analysing the game from Bangkok, Thailand.
Watch Singha All Star XI vs Chelsea live: