Chelsea captain John Terry can't wait to get the new campaign underway after a month of positive preparations this summer, and he’s predicting great things for Daniel Sturridge once the young striker completes his three-match ban.
The Blues enjoyed six straight wins following the arrival of Andre Villas-Boas, conceding only one goal along the way in Saturday's 3-1 victory over Ranger at Ibrox Stadium.
A tour of Asia served two purposed for the club, helping Chelsea expose their brand in the lucrative continent whilst helping the players gain vital fitness in humid conditions, and Terry believes his teammates are in optimum condition ahead of their season-opener on Sunday.
"The Asia tour was a two-week period which is quite long and it is good to be back home with our families," Terry told Chelsea TV.
"The season is getting close. Fitness-wise we are looking good and playing well also. Hopefully this momentum can continue into the first game against Stoke."
Terry also joined the growing chorus of players and managers paying tribute to the performances of Daniel Sturridge in pre-season.
The England youth international has earned rave reviews for his efforts after returning to the club following last season's loan at Bolton Wanderers, and the skipper is convinced the striker will be in Villas-Boas' plans.
"Rangers started a little bit brighter than us and we were obviously disappointed to concede a goal," the skipper continued, reflecting on the weekend win.
"But the way we came back into it was good, Studge [Sturridge] especially. He has been brilliant all pre season. He went away last season on loan and gained from the experience of playing week in week out. He has grown into how good he believes he can be and everyone is seeing that now.
"It is just unfortunate he has his three-game ban, otherwise I am sure he would have been the first name down on the team sheet because he has been brilliant so far."