Things will be a bit different when Chelsea’s players and staff head out to Portugal to start their preparations for the Champions League final against Manchester City.
In previous campaigns, apart from last season amid the coronavirus pandemic and now this current final, teams traditionally had a few days worth of training in the host city before their final.
All the build-up was part of the fun. It started a long way out from the game itself and then huolt to a crescendo for when the match finally kicked off.
In 2021 though, many fans of both teams will be flying in on the day of the game and then flying straight back to the UK the day after. For the lucky few that managed to get tickets and can stay a bit longer, the party will be in full swing for a couple more days at least.
When Spurs took on Liverpool in Madrid in 2019, Mauricio Pochetitno’s side were based for the majority at their Hotspur Way base, heading to Spain for just three days before they played the Reds, which ended in a 2-0 victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Their opponents spent a six-day training camp in Marbella before heading to the Spanish capital to finalise their own preparations for the big game.
For Chelsea and City this season however, it’s not quite so straightforward with the backdrop of Covid-19 still very much prevalent. The final taking place just six days after the end of the Premier League campaign came to a close is also a factor.
After a warm down day on Monday and a day off on Tuesday, it was back to training on Wednesday before heading to Porto on Thursday to check into the team hotel in the city.
Friday will give us the chance to speak to Thomas Tuchel and a player ahead of the game, which is set for 5.15pm local time.
The players will have an open training session at the venue for the final, the Estadio do Dragao, 45 minutes later at 6pm local time where we might get some clues on tactics and who might be fit or not for the monster clash with Pep Guardiola’s side.
The City version of events will take place earlier the same day, with their training sessions set to get underway at 4.30pm local time and Guardiola and a player facing the press for a pre-match media conference 45 minutes before that.
Understandably, Chelsea’s hotel for their stay in Portugal is being kept very much under wraps.