Chelsea start exhausting 6,544-mile round trip to Boston for ‘Final Whistle on Hate’ friendly against New England Revolution… ahead of Europa League final against Arsenal
- Chelsea have set off from London for their ‘Final Whistle on Hate’ friendly
- The Blues are making the 6,544-mile round trip to face New England Revolution
- It appears to be poor timing, with their Europa League final at the end of May
Chelsea are setting off for their controversial friendly in the United States, which will leave them with less than two weeks to prepare for their Europa League final when they return.
The Blues had agreed to face New England Revolution in an exhibition match to highlight the ‘Final Whistle On Hate’ campaign before reaching the Europa final in Baku.
However, the fixture is a point of contention for boss Maurizio Sarri, who has made his feelings on the US arrangement clear.
David Luiz (right) with fellow Brazilians (from left) Jorginho, Willian and Emerson on the plane
Luiz salutes the camera as he boards the plane ahead of the 3,272-mile trip to North America
Kepa Arrizabalaga makes his way up the stairs along with Chelsea’s backroom staff
Mateo Kovacic and Davide Zappacosta were among the Blues stars to make the trip
The match takes place on Wednesday at the Gillette Stadium in Boston, which is two weeks before they face London rivals Arsenal in Baku in the Europa League final.
Nevertheless, straight after the final day of the season, players left the club’s base on Monday morning by bus, before boarding a chartered flight for their 6,544-mile round trip across the Atlantic.
Olivier Giroud and Eden Hazard were spotted among the stars getting on the coach, as was Reece James, who had spent the campaign on loan at Championship side Wigan.
Youngster Marc Guehi, who took his place on the bench on Sunday for the final game of the season at Leicester, was also among those making the trip.
There was footage from inside the plane too, with David Luiz taking a picture with his fellow Brazilian team-mates Willian, Emerson and Jorginho.
And the club themselves released a video, showing Jorginho and the rest of the squad choosing their seats on board.
Striker Olivier Giroud and Eden Hazard are among the squad to travel to the United States
Jorginho wheels his suitcase to the coach, as Zappacosta makes his way on to the bus
Reece James, fresh from a loan spell at Wigan, joined his Chelsea team-mates on the trip
James was on board along with fellow youngsters Conor Gallagher (right) and Marc Guehi
Sarri made his feelings on the fixture clear after they beat Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-final last Thursday.
After the game, Sarri said: ‘Now we need to rest. Unfortunately we have to go to the United States but we have 10 days to prepare for the final and we have to recover energy.
‘We go there for a good reason, so as a man I am very happy to go. As a coach, of course, I am a little bit worried because I know very well that the team now needs rest. So it is not the best way to prepare the final, I think.
‘I am not worried about the physical side, I think it is more difficult to recover mentally. Because in a match like this one you spend, usually, a lot of energy and then of course you have to go down and then it is not easy to go up again.’
The ‘Final Whistle on Hate’ fixture is aimed at tackling discrimination but with a particular emphasis on anti-Semitism. Chelsea had already stated they would send their full first-team squad to the States before they reached the European final.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has made clear his reservations on the fixture in the States