Mata savouring American atmosphere as Chelsea take on Manchester City

With the Premier League powerhouses squaring off in two post-season friendlies in the United States, starting with Thursday's clash at Busch Stadium, the Blues are relaxed
Chelsea star Juan Mata is looking forward to the atmosphere at Busch Stadium as his side take on Manchester City in the first of two post-season matches in United States.

The Blues face their Premier League rivals in St Louis on Thursday night and the Spanish attacking midfielder is hoping to reward the 10,259 fans who are set to attend with a good performance despite the meaningless nature of the game.

"I think, for both teams, the best thing will be the atmosphere of the stadium," Mata told reporters. "It's a huge stadium, it's a pleasure for us to play here and we are expecting a great atmosphere. All we can do is try to do our best and do a good performance for the supporters that are going to be here."

15/8 Juan Mata is 15/8 with William Hill to score anytime against Manchester City in St Louis
City finished one place ahead of Chelsea in the Premier League this season and won three of the pair's four meetings across all competitions in 2012-13, with Blues defender Branislav Ivanovic expecting another tough challenge against the currently managerless side.

"[City are] one of the most difficult points you can get in the Premier League," the Serbian observed. "We didn't have a lot of success against them this season but every game is different and every game is another challenge.

"We will try to win the game because it's very important, because of psychological moments for next season and for the future as well. We have to be ready for every challenge, because in football you never have a friendly game."

Mata was in agreement, adding: "Man City have a lot of players with quality. They always try to keep the ball, they have long possessions and they have a lot of goals. It's difficult to defend against them but let's see. We know each other really well.

"This is not the same because you don't lose three points [if you don't win] but, when we are representing Chelsea, the point is to win, no matter if it is a friendly game or not."