PREPARATIONS BEGIN

The University of Saint Louis played host to our first training session ahead of the double-header against Manchester City in America this week.

Having arrived in the US late on Monday night (local time), the squad made the short journey from their hotel to the Robert R. Hermann Stadium.

Under the watchful eye of Rafael Benitez and his coaching staff, the three goalkeepers - Petr Cech, Henrique Hilario and Jamal Blackman - were first out on to the pitch, quickly followed by Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill.

After a couple of warm-up laps of the pitch, it was on to a keep-ball session, with the players split into two groups.

Youngsters Andreas Christensen and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were part of a group which included the likes of Ashley Cole, Fernando Torres and Oscar.

With members of the university team watching on, and after a nine-a-side game based on retaining possession, the players then moved on to a slightly more competitive match, in which Branislav Ivanovic scored a brilliant goal from distance.

The session then climaxed with the goalkeepers - and Ivanovic - attempting the crossbar challenge, with Hilario the first player to hit the target.

The players will train tomorrow at the venue for Thursday's game, Busch Stadium, while two players will address the media.

There are still some tickets available for Saturday's game at Yankee Stadium in New York.

Both matches will also be live and FREE TO VIEW on Chelsea TV in the UK and Ireland.