The International Champions Cup is taking the best that club football has to offer to the global fanbase. Some of the Premier League’s finest take on Europe’s elite around the globe this summer.
Manchester City and Manchester United face Borussia Dortmund in China whilst Tottenham travel to Australia to meet Juventus and Atletico Madrid.
The final batch of matches sees Leicester City, Liverpool and Chelsea play Barcelona, PSG, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Celtic across Europe and the USA.
INTERNATION CHAMPIONS CUP – CHINA
Not many of the new signings made by the English sides will feature in these matches. Zlatan Ibrahimovic joins the squad later in the pre-season but Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly travelled to China.
A 2 – 0 win over Wigan Athletic gave Jose Mourinho’s Old Trafford era a winning start but Dortmund and Manchester City promise to be sterner tests, despite the Germans being weakened by the departures of Hummels and Mkhitaryan.
City under Pep Guardiola play their first pre-season match tonight, facing Bayern Munich. Nolito should feature in the matches although injury rules Ilkay Gundogan out.
The meeting between the two sides is the first Manchester derby played outside the British Isles and promises to offer a fascinating insight into the styles both clubs will use under the new managers.
INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP – AUSTRALIA
Tottenham face two stern tests: Juventus and Atletico Madrid.
No Paul Pogba for Juventus as he’s yet to return to pre-season training. By the time they face Spurs, he may well be a Manchester United player with the clubs discussing a £100m transfer.
With a return to the Champions League next season, these matches provide an early indication of how well Spurs will measure up. Mauricio Pochettino added Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen to his squad, with the Dutchman needing to ease the goalscoring pressure on Harry Kane.
INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP – USA / EUROPE
Leicester City: Living the dream. N’Golo Kante has gone but Jamie Vardy stayed. Riyad Mahrez’s future is still in doubt but the Foxes kept most of last season’s title winning squad. Few expect them to win many matches when it matters but they may surprise Celtic, PSG and Barcelona in these friendlies.
Chelsea are the most interesting of all the English clubs in this tournament. Antonio Conte’s favoured style will inject a new energy and intensity into the Blues, offering a stark contrast to last season’s lethargy.
Kante and Batshuayi are the new additions and the Italian will be looking for a vast improvement on the performance he saw during the 0 – 2 defeat to Rapid Vienna at the weekend.
Liverpool meanwhile remain in flux. Jurgen Klopp has added Sadio Mane but there is much more work to be done on the squad. The German said that defeat to Sevilla in last season’s Europa League final still hurts and their meetings with Chelsea, Milan and Barcelona will tell him far he has to travel.
They have been the most active club in pre-season so far, beating Tranmere, Fleetwood and Wigan without conceding a goal. The step up in opposition will surely dent that record.