In the first of a feature series detailing the significance of each fixture on our 2024 USA Tour, a fresh blue beginning beckons when we meet Wrexham in California…

It is now just over two weeks until supporters can watch a Chelsea side coached by Enzo Maresca for the first time.

We confirmed the appointment of the Italian as our new head coach in early June – and at Cobham yesterday he began working with those players already back in pre-season training.

Of course, the primary focus of these early training sessions is fitness. But there will undoubtedly be tactical work being undertaken, and it will be fascinating to see what Maresca has implemented when our first friendly of the summer, against Wrexham in Santa Clara, rolls around.

Maresca stated in his first interview he wants his Chelsea team to be ‘aggressive on and off the ball’ – and his footballing principles were evident during a fantastic year at Leicester City last season.

He deployed a 4-3-3 shape on paper, although it often appeared a 3-2-5 when attacking. The Foxes controlled games in possession and set about winning the ball back quickly when lost. They tired opponents by stretching them with width, and forced play through the middle when required.

It worked well and Leicester won a typically competitive Championship with a game to spare.

Marasca will be instilling his ideology into to his Chelsea squad ahead of our USA tour, and you can see how that process is developing when we meet Wrexham on Wednesday 24 July.

Yet that fixture will not only see Maresca in the Chelsea dugout for the first time. The game could give our new signings their first minutes in Blue, including Maresca’s former Leicester midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Toisin Adarabioyo, who arrived from Fulham.

Other established names such as Reece James, Malo Gusto, Ben Chilwell, Christopher Nkunku, Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson could also feature.

A first sighting of our exciting new young players, such as Marc Guiu and Omari Kellyman, is possible while homegrown talents could also look to make the step up to the senior group.

A new era has begun at Chelsea and against Wrexham the first chapter will be written.

Chelsea’s USA Tour 2024