One of the joys of summertime in England is basking in the sun and watching the pre-season friendlies. It’s a ritual that many soccer fans relish. Smelling the freshly cut grass, getting your hopes up that “this could be the season,” and watching new transfer signings and youth players playing for your team for the first time in tiny and antiquated stadiums.
It’s also an opportunity for smaller teams to play against Premiership sides. While the English Premier League teams get much-needed match practice, the smaller clubs get a nice injection of cash from ticket sales. It’s a perfect agreement, except that many Premiership sides these days now revert to flying overseas for tournaments thereby taking the ticket revenue out of the country.
Keeping up with all of the friendly fixtures is a full-time job, but here’s a selection of some of the more interesting matches during the next few days:
Saturday, July 15:
Wrexham v Liverpool
Barnet v Arsenal
Tuesday, July 18:
Celta Vigo v Spurs
Wednesday, July 19:
Accrington Stanley v Blackburn
With these matches, though, you can’t take the results seriously. The matches usually feature unlimited substitutions and key players may be rested while they recover from World Cup duty, or make way for fringe players who have a lot more to prove.
Interestingly, Sheffield Wednesday from the Championship will play the USL Soccer League All-Star Team on Wednesday, July 19 at 8pm ET in Cary, North Carolina. The match will be shown live on Fox Soccer Channel.