Highlights Of Preseason Friendlies For Premier League Clubs
Now that Euro 2008 is over, don’t be surprised if you go through withdrawal symptoms over the next few days. But while one of the most entertaining European Championships in recent history has finished, many Premier League clubs will begin playing their first friendlies as early as next week.
With only 47 days to go until the 2008/2009 season begins, the 20 Premier League clubs will be gearing up for a very competitive season by playing friendlies against all levels of opposition from North Ferriby United to Sevilla, Roma and Lazio.
Here’s a rundown of all 20 Premier League clubs and where they’ll be heading this summer (for a complete list, visit EPL Talk’s preseason friendlies page):
Arsenal: The Gunners will be touring Hungary, Austria, Germany and Holland this summer as well as playing a few friendlies in England. The highlight will be their August 3rd home match against Real Madrid.
Aston Villa: Villa had originally made plans to play in North America this summer but due to qualifying for the Intertoto Cup, the club shelved those plans and will travel to Switzerland instead before returning to England to play several friendlies there.
Blackburn: Paul Ince’s side will travel to Austria and Portugal for friendlies this summer before returning to England for more friendlies there. The most enticing match will be Benfica against Blackburn on July 25.
Bolton: The Trotters will begin their friendlies in England before heading to Greece to play two matches, where the biggest clash will be against AEK Athens on August 8.
Chelsea: Big Phil’s side will be traveling halfway around the world this summer for a grueling series of matches in China, Malaysia and Russia. While in Moscow, Chelsea will play either AC Milan, Sevilla and/or Lokomotiv Moscow.
Everton: The Toffees are one of only two teams that will be playing friendlies in the United States this summer. Before they head to the States to play Chicago and Colorado, they’ll be in Switzerland against FC Sion on July 12.
Fulham: The miracle workers who escaped relegation last season will be touring South Korea in July. After they return to the UK, the team faces some tasty friendlies against Celtic and Torino.
Hull: The Premier League newcomers will play friendlies in Belgium and Scotland before returning to England. Their August 9th home match against Osasuna will be the most intriguing.
Liverpool: For a club as massive as Liverpool, it’s a travesty that the club hasn’t announced any major tours to Asia or North America thus missing opportunities to bring a lot of revenue into the club. Instead Rafa Benitez’s side will be traveling to Switzerland, Poland, Germany, Spain, Scotland and Norway. The highlights of their preseason are a July 30th game against Villarreal in Spain, and an August 8th game against Lazio at Anfield.
Man City: New manager Mark Hughes will be taking his side to Germany and Scotland, but the big highlight will be their home match against AC Milan on August 9.
Man United: The Premier League champions are heading to Scotland, South Africa and Nigeria for their friendlies this summer before playing in the Community Shield at Wembley on August 10 against Portsmouth.
Middlesbrough: Boro will be heading to Portugal, Holland and Scotland this summer for friendlies. The most enticing match will against Celtic in Portugal on July 22.
Newcastle: Similar to Liverpool, Newcastle has done a poor job on the marketing side negotiating high-profile tours. Instead, the Toon will be playing two matches in Spain against Hertha Berlin and Real Mallorca before coming home to play against Valencia on August 9.
Portsmouth: The FA Cup holders will be playing two friendlies in Nigeria this summer, one of them against Manchester United who they again play against on August 10 in the Community Shield.
Stoke: The Potters will be playing all of their friendlies in England with the highlight a home match against Osasuna on August 8.
Sunderland: Roy Keane’s sides will be touring Portugal and Ireland this summer. Pick of the litter will be their August 3rd home match against Ajax.
Tottenham: The Carling Cup champions will be playing a tournament in Holland this summer against Celtic and Borussia Dortmund before returning to England to play Roma on August 10.
West Brom: The Baggies will be playing friendlies in Germany and Wales before returning home to play in England against Real Mallorca on August 9.
West Ham: Alan Curbishley’s side is the second Premier League side to be playing in North America this summer. They’ll be playing against the MLS All-Star team in Canada on July 24, but the big match this summer will be at home against Villarreal on August 9.
Wigan: Steve Bruce’s side will be touring Austria, Germany and Holland this summer. No home friendlies have been scheduled as of writing.
Don’t forget that many teams will be announcing more preseason friendlies in the next few weeks, so keep on checking EPL Talk for the latest schedule.
If you are planning on going to any of the friendlies involving Premier League sides and you’re interested in writing a review or sharing your photographs, please contact thegaffer[at]epltalk[dot]com so you can publish them on EPL Talk.