Premier League

Blues to face Man City in New York

Will Rafael Benitez take Chelsea on tour to the United States?
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Chelsea's action-packed season finally has an end point after the announcement of a second game in the United States against Manchester City, this time at Yankee Stadium in New York.

Last season's Champions League winners are on course to play 70 competitive matches this term - if they advance to the Europa League and FA Cup finals.

City and Chelsea first meet in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and then again at Busch Stadium, home of St Louis Cardinals, on May 23, before a second Stateside friendly at the home of the New York Yankees on May 25.

The second friendly will begin at 1730 local time (2230BST), around the same time as Chelsea's successors as European champions will be crowned at Wembley.

The England players in the squads will experience a short turnaround and clock up many air miles due to a friendly against the Republic of Ireland in London on May 29 and the trip to Rio de Janeiro to play Brazil on June 2.

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On announcing the game, Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said: "The club is excited to be playing a double-header in the US this May and thrilled to be returning to Yankee Stadium.

"We were delighted to take part in the first ever football game there, and we received sensational support in what was a sea of blue fans inside and outside the stadium that day.

"Spending the week in St Louis and New York also provides a great opportunity for the club to reconnect with our US fans before we head to Asia in July for pre-season.

"America has long been an important place for Chelsea Football Club, and we have seen first-hand the continued rise of the game's popularity."

All tickets for the St Louis friendly at the 46,861-capacity Busch Stadium sold out within 20 minutes of going on sale.

Following last week's announcement of the first game, Chelsea interim coach Rafael Benitez suggested he is prepared to lead the Blues in the USA, even though his contract expires at the end of the season.

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