The players completed their final training session ahead of tomorrow’s FIFA Club World Cup final at the home of Yokohama F. Marinos earlier this evening here in Japan.
Manager Rafael Benitez oversaw the session, which was open to the media for the first 15 minutes, and after a quick warm-up, it was straight on to a competitive match where the onus was on moving the ball quickly and retaining possession.
With penalties tomorrow night a possibilty, the session culminated with the players honing their techniques against Petr Cech and Ross Turnbull.
Across town, meanwhile, at the Yokohama International Stadium, Corinthians were putting the finishing touches to their own preparations.
Cahe Mota is a Brazilian journalist who writes for Globoesporte.com, and having spent the past few months in London covering the Blues, he is in the perfect position to assess tomorrow’s game.
‘Corinthians are a team who work well collectively and don’t rely on any individuals,’ he said.
‘They are strong defensively and conceded only four goals throughout their Copa Libertadores campaign, but they will look to cause Chelsea problems on the break.
‘Emerson Sheik scores a lot of goals, his star is shining brightly at the moment. Ralf and Paulinho both play for Brazil and are excellent players, while the two playmakers, Douglas and Danilo, will also pose a big threat.
‘Chelsea will probably enjoy plenty of possession, and they have a stronger side, but the Corinthians fans will make a lot of noise and make it very difficult.’
No-one at Chelsea is anticipating anything but a stern test tomorrow, but having been in Japan now for almost a week and with one good win here under their belts, Benitez and his players are in a good state of mind and fitness. Only one English club to date have been crowned world champions, and should the Blues add our name tomorrow night, a season which appeared to be faltering begins to become another to remember.