Pre-season friendlies: Where are the Premier League’s big boys off to?
In this world of modern football, pre-season has changed beyond recognition for the Premier League’s top clubs.
Out are the days of simply quiet warm-ups with neighbouring clubs, and in are international tournaments and criss-crossing adventures to new lands and new audiences.
So, where are the Arsenals and Man Citys of this world off to this summer as they prepare for their latest title challenge?
Arsenal – 6 Pre-season games, Title odds @ 10/1
Time will tell on its impact, but on paper, Arsenal’s pre-season schedule does appear rather hectic.
The Gunners will play two matches in Sydney on July 13 and 15, before stopping off to face Bayern Munich and Chelsea in China.
Then it’s back home for the annual Emirates Cup (versus Benfica and Sevilla) leaving just one week before the Community Shield against their rivals from West London.
Chelsea – 3 Pre-season games, Title odds @ 11/4
In contrast, Chelsea are keeping things far less intense. The reigning Premier League champions begin with that clash against Arsenal in Beijing on July 22.
After that, it’s just a two-match trip to Singapore, where they’ll face Bayern Munich and Inter Milan as part of the International Champions Cup, ahead of the Community Shield on August 6.
Liverpool – 8 Pre-season games, Title odds @ 12/1
Impressively, Liverpool have managed to out-do Arsenal in the pre-season stakes.
In reality, very few – if any – players will contest all eight of the Reds’ friendlies, but still, the Anfield outfit are racking up the air miles.
They’ll begin against Mersey neighbours Tranmere Rovers on July 12, but travelling to Wigan two days later.
Then it’s off to Hong Kong for the Premier League Asia Trophy, where they’ll face Crystal Palace and West Brom or Leicester City.
Jurgen Klopp’s boys then play Hertha Berlin in the German capital, before their second tournament of the summer – the Audi Cup.
There they’ll meet Bayern Munich and one of Atletico Madrid or Napoli, before rounding off this busy schedule by playing Athletic Bilbao in Dublin, on August 5.
Manchester City – 4 Pre-season games, Title odds @ 15/8
Like Chelsea, Manchester City are keeping things relatively light ahead of the new campaign.
The Citizens begin on July 21 with a derby clash versus Manchester United in the International Champions Cup, taking place in Houston,Texas.
Real Madrid then await in Los Angeles on July 27, before a match against Tottenham rounds out the Citizens’ stateside adventure two days later.
That’s not the end of City’s pre-season however, they and new boy Bernardo Silva will have one more chance to fine tune, when they meet West Ham in Reykjavik.
Manchester United – 7 Pre-season games, Title odds @ 7/2
Manchester United have been going to America for their pre-season for several years now, and 2017 is no different.
Jose Mourinho will begin his second term at the helm by facing LA Galaxy in California on July 16.
Real Salt Lake, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona will all then face the Red Devils over the following 11 days.
Back to Europe, and United will conclude their preparations against Valerenga in Oslo, and then Sampdoria in Dublin on August 2 – just six days before they face Real again in the UEFA Super Cup.
Tottenham – 3 Pre-season games, Title odds @ 7/1
Tottenham are also heading to the States this summer, but or a far less extensive schedule.
Spurs will contest just three games across the pond, again as part of the ever-expanding Champions Cup.
Maurcio Pochettino will see his side tested against Paris Saint-Germain, Roma, and finally Man City between July 23 and 29
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing