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Premier League pre-season friendlies preview

by Aidan Elder | July 10, 2012

LEA-VAN ON A JET PLANE? Van Persie will tour with someone (pic: Inpho)

By Aidan Elder | Chief Sports Writer

We’ve pretended we’re surprised Robin van Persie wants to leave Arsenal.
We’ve scoured bits of MirrorFootball.co.uk we know are economical with facts for any sort of transfer tittle-tattle.
And we’ve even briefly feigned interest in Steven Fletcher’s departure from Wolves.

The warning signs are all there. We miss football and little more than a week after seeing Spain spank Italy in the final of Euro 2012, the symptoms are hitting hard.

The good news is that the football is nearly back. Kind of. And we’re not just talking about the league cup runners-up of Albania taking on the fourth best team in Moldova for a place in the Europa League first Preliminary Play-off Round first Phase Qualifier. Pre-season friendlies are back and if you squint/get drunk enough, it almost looks like your favourite team are back in the heat of competition that actually matters.

There is a point to it all and that point is it gives us our first look at how the squad is shaping up ahead of the new season. It’s a time to check out the up and coming talent and the new signings and then make knee-jerk predictions on their likelihood of their future success at your club. Predictions that will be brought up at every available opportunity is they turn out to be right and completely swept under the carpet when they turn out to be completely wrong.

Here’s a list of this week’s Premier League friendlies followed by a wider look at the schedules of the Premier League’s big boys.

This week’s schedule

Friendlies schedule

Manchester City

The champions are taking it relatively handy as they tune-up for the new season. Manchester City travel to Austria for a pipe-opener against Saudi side Al-Hilal on July 13 before taking on Dynamo Dresden on July 17. Turkish side Besiktas are the opposition on July 20, still in Austria and then it’s on to Beijing where they rub the signing of Robin van Persie in Arsenal’s face take on Arsenal on the July 27 before taking on some sort of Malaysian selection a few days after.

Manchester United

Their neighbours are racking up the air-miles and complimentary headphones in their preparation for wrestling the title back. Manchester United head for South Africa first up for games against Amazulu FC (July 18) and Ajax Cape Town (July 21). No sooner have they unpacked their bags than it’s off to China were the familiar comedic flailings of Didier Drogba and his new team, Shanghai Shenhua are the opposition (July 27). With the ‘Asian market’ box ticked the globe-trotting Devils head for Scandinavia where they play Valerenga (August 5) in Oslo and then Barcelona (August 8) in Gothneberg, Sweden for some reason. If that wasn’t enough of a chance to make sweeping judgements about exciting new signings such as Nick Powell and Shinji Kagawa then it’s on to Germany where they take on Hannover (August 11).

Chelsea

Chelsea’s pre-season tour takes in some of the most famous, glamourous and influential cities in the world. And Brighton. The European champions embark of a tour of the US of A, starting on the west coast with a game against the Seattle Sounders (July 18). Then it’s a cross-country trek for a showdown with the money-bags of Paris St. Germain for a match in Yankee Stadium, New York (July 22). The probably oxymoronic challenge of the MLS All Stars awaits in Philadelphia awaits on July 25 and then it’s a glamour friendly against AC Milan amidst the beauty and boob-jobs of Miami (July 28). Without wanting to say ‘crashing come-down’ then it’s on to Brighton for the last of the pre-season friendlies on August 4.

Liverpool and Tottenham

Liverpool and Tottenham begin the 2012/13 campaign with new faces at the helm. The two meet in Baltimore on July 28. Before that, Brendan Rodgers takes his Reds to Toronto to face the city’s MLS side and then stops by Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, where they take on Roma. After taking on Stevenage (July 18), it gets a little more exotic for Andre Villas-Boas and Spurs as they face LA Galaxy (July 24). After the afore-mentioned tie in Beantown, it’s the Red York Red Bulls on July 31, before a trip to Valencia on August 9.

Arsenal

It’s been ‘another off-season, another superstar apparently about to jump ship’ for Arsenal. They’ve got a busy few weeks. They face Anderlecht and Southampton on July 14 in some sort of 45 minute a game tournament and then it’s off to Asia in a round of corporate marketing exercises. Malaysia XI are first up on July 24, Manchester City on July 27, Kitchee in Hong Kong on July 29 and stop by Germany to face Lucas Podolski’s old club, Colonge on August 12.

Here’s a full list of the pre-season plans of each of the Premier League team (to the best of our knowledge).

Arsenal

14/07/12 Anderlecht & Southampton (A)
24/07/12 Malaysia XI (A)
27/07/12 Manchester City (N)
29/07/12 Kitchee (N)
12/08/12 FC Cologne (A)

Aston Villa

14/07/12 Burton Albion (A)
18/07/12 Philadelphia Union (A)
21/07/12 Chicago Fire (A)
24/07/12 Portland Timbers (A)
01/08/12 Peterborough (A)
04/08/12 Nottingham Forest (A)
11/08/12 Werder Bremen (A)

Chelsea

18/07/12 Seattle (A)
22/07/12 Paris St Germain (N)
25/07/12 MLS All Stars (A)
28/07/12 AC Milan (N)
04/08/12 Brighton and Hove Albion (A)

Everton

14/07/12 Morecambe (A)
18/07/12 Dundee United (A)
21/07/12 Motherwell (A)
26/07/12 Galatasaray (N)
29/07/12: Indonesia XI or Malaysia XI (N)
05/08/12 Blackpool (A)
08/08/12 AEK Athens (H)
11/08/12 Malaga (A)

Fulham

14/07/12 HB Koge (A)
18/07/12 Lokomotiv Leipzig (A)
21/07/12 Kaiserslautern (A)
28/07/12 Wycombe (A)
07/08/12 MK Dons (A)
11/08/12 Charlton (H)

Liverpool

21/07/12 Toronto (A)
25/07/12 Roma (N) – Fenway Park
28/07/12 Tottenham (N)
12/08/12 Bayer Leverkusen (H)

Manchester City

13/07/12 Al Hilal (N)
17/07/12 Dynamo Dresden (N)
20/07/12 Besiktas (N)
27/07/12 Arsenal (N)
30/07/12 Malaysia (A)

Manchester United

18/07/12 AmaZulu FC (A)
21/07/12 Ajax Cape Town (A)
25/07/12 Shanghai Shenhua (A)
05/08/12 Valerenga (A)
08/08/12 Barcelona (N)
11/08/12 Hannover (A)

Newcastle United

13/07/12 Chemnitzer (A)
16/07/12 Monaco (N)
27/07/12 Olympiacos (N)
28/07/12 Porto (N)
11/08/12 Cardiff City (A)

Norwich City

21/07/12 Hertha Berlin (A)
24/07/12 Celtic (A)
28/07/12 Peterborough United (A)
31/07/12 Ajax (H)
03/08/12 MK Dons (A)
07/08/12 Hull City (A)
11/08/12 Borussia Monchengladbach (H)

QPR

17/07/12 Sabah XI (A)
20/07/12 Kelantan (A)
23/07/12 Persebaya Surabaya (A)

Reading

14/07/12 AFC Wimbledon (A)
21/07/12 Quarteirense (N)
24/07/12 Sheffield Wednesday (N)
27/07/12 Olhanense (N)
04/08/12 Bournemouth (A)
07/08/12 Brighton (A)
11/08/12 Crystal Palace (H)

Southampton

14/07/12 Anderlecht & Arsenal (H)
18/07/12 Etoile Carouge (A)
21/07/12 Evian (A)
28/07/12 Ajax (H)
04/08/12 Wolves (H)
07/08/12 Bristol City (A)
11/08/12 Udinese (H)

Stoke

18/07/12 Sion (A)
24/07/12 Columbus Crew (A)
28/07/12 Orlando City (A)
01/08/12 Sporting Kansas City (A)
06/08/12 Torquay (A)
07/08/12 Yeovil (A)
10/08/12 Greuther Furth (A)

Sunderland

19/07/12 Seongnam (A)
22/07/12 Hamburg or Groningen (N)
27/07/12 Hartlepool United (A)
08/08/12 Derby County (A)
11/08/12 Leicester City (A)

Swansea

21/07/12 Port Talbot (A)
24/07/12 Colorado Rapids (A)
28/07/12 Ventura County Fusion (A)
31/07/12 San Jose Earthquakes (A)

Tottenham

18/07/12 Stevenage (A)
24/07/12 LA Galaxy (A)
28/07/12 Liverpool (N)
31/07/12 New York Red Bulls (A)
09/08/12 Valencia (A)

West Brom

19/07/12 Malmo (A)
25/07/12 Copenhagen (A)
28/07/12 Barnsley (A)
04/08/12 Sheffield Wednesday (A)
07/08/12 Walsall (A)
10/08/12 Nottingham Forest (A)

West Ham

10/07/12 Boreham Wood (A)
14/07/12 Southend (A)
17/07/12 Oxford United (A)
21/07/12 Colchester (A)
25/07/12 FC Rot Wieb Erfurt (A)
27/07/12 Dynamo Dresden (A)
29/07/12 Energie Cottbus (A)
04/08/12 Ipswich Town (A)
10/08/12 Sporting Braga (A)

Wigan

23/07/12 TBA
26/07/12 Botev Plovdiv (N)
28/07/12 Hoffenheim (N)

The above is subject to change and is stolen from various other places. Don’t blame us for changes or inaccuracies.

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