Our prediction for this match:
Dalymount Park stadium in Dublin will be packed when Bohemians and Chelsea face each other in pre-season friendly on Thursday evening. The Bohs are enjoying a successful season, with the team sitting in third position in the Irish Premier League standings after 24 rounds, but they will have a mountain to climb in the warm-up game against the star-studded Premier League side.
Bohemians managed to keep a clean sheet in each of their previous two league fixtures, but preventing Chelsea attackers from scoring is easier said than done. The Blues, on the other hand, continue life without Eden Hazard, who joined Real Madrid in the summer transfer window, but new coach Frank Lampard has a number of high-profile players to choose from who are definitely capable of beating the opposition goal-keeper. One of the men to watch in the away team will be rising star Hudson-Odoi, who is expected to shine in the forthcoming Premier League season.
Highlighted Player (Mateo Kovacic):
Born to Croatian parents in Linz, Austria, Mateo Kovacic spent seven years in the LASK Linz youth academy before joining Dinamo Zagreb, where he showed a great deal of potential shortly after being promoted to the senior squad.
The good return of 7 goals in 43 league appearances saw him secure a high-profile move to Inter Milan, where he acted as both holding midfielder and attacking midfielder, during the three years at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. And despite not exactly impressing in Italy, Kovacic was purchased by mighty Real Madrid, where he has been ever since. The youngster is widely regarded as one of Croatia’s most talented footballers at the moment and he has represented the country on international stage since the age of 19.
In just three years he managed to make over 25 appearances for the national team, playing at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 finals for Vatreni. Kovavic has yet to be given a real chance to impress at Real Madrid, but he has entire future ahead of him.
Highlighted Team (Chelsea):
Over the years Chelsea have established themselves as one of the dominant forces in the English Premier League. Roberto Di Matteo helped the team win their first ever Champions League trophy (2011/2012), but it has to be noted that they were more than fortunate to beat Bayern Munich in the title game.
Chelsea have been playing at Stamford Bridge since 1876 and they are a real force to be reckoned with at home. The Blues have won seven FA Cups, five League Cups, two UEFA Cup Winners’ Cups and the UEFA Europa League. Rafael Benitez was in charge of the team that faced Benfica in the 2012/2013 Europa League final, with Branislav Ivanovic scoring the winner for the Blues in the title clash.
After lifting the 2014/2015 Premier League trophy, the Blues largely struggled in the next campaign, which saw Jose Mourinho’s second spell with the club come to an end, and Antoine Conte went over to take the reigns for the 2016/2017 season.