Raheem Sterling is in line to make his Chelsea debut in the pre-season friendly against MLS side Charlotte FC on Wednesday night.
The England attacker completed a £47.5m transfer from Premier League rivals Manchester City a week ago having flown out to Los Angeles to join Chelsea’s pre-season tour.
Having sat out their opening friendly victory over Club America in Las Vegas, the Blues have now moved on to Orlando where they are set to take on Charlotte on Wednesday night before facing London rivals Arsenal on Saturday.
Speaking ahead of the game, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel revealed Sterling would be making his debut and the forward was raring to go.
“Raheem is absolutely ready to go,” the German said. “He will be on the pitch against Charlotte and we are happy about that. He is excited to play his first match.
“We had two intense training sessions on Monday and decided to do one more on Tuesday before we travel to Charlotte, then it’s all about the next step and the next step.”
While Sterling is set to make his Chelsea bow, fans may have to wait a little longer to see his fellow new arrival Kalidou Koulibaly in action.
The centre-back completed a £34m move from Napoli over the weekend and like Sterling he has joined up with the rest of the squad in the US.
Speaking on the Senegal defender’s chances of featuring against Charlotte, Tuchel said: “We’re a bit torn so I have to speak to him about what we do. He did some training sessions now with us but he’s still in a very individual programme so no double sessions on the pitch.
“He trains with the team but there are players who are in the third week of preparation and on a completely different level of physical foundation so it’s not a good match for him to straight away play.”
The head coach added: “I don’t want to rule it out completely but it’s very likely that he maybe will not play and we will not see him on the pitch.
“I’m happy because he’s a calm guy and we can see his quality on the pitch. He has a certain personality that you feel when he’s there and that is good for us.”
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