World Football: 5 Friendlies to Watch at the End of the Summer
It's the end of July and we're approximately one month away from the start of the domestic seasons in Europe. The English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga kick off on August 18th, while the Serie A and the Bundesliga begin a week or so after that.
But before the domestic campaigns restart, there are interesting matches that should be watched. While the Olympics will be captivating viewers around the world, there are also a bunch of club friendlies that will be intriguing.
Here's a list of five friendly matches to watch before the start of the 2012-13 season:
Chelsea vs. Milan
Venue: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, USA
Date: July 28, 2012
Milan and Chelsea faced each other in the 2009 World Football Challenge, with the Blues winning 2-1. Now, in July 2012, they play each other in Miami.
This will be Chelsea's final game in the US as they prepare to face Manchester City in the FA Community Shield.
For AC Milan, this will be their second preseason fixture, following Tuesday's clash against Schalke in Germany.
It's difficult to predict how this game will turn out but it'll certainly be an exciting game.
Arsenal vs. Manchester City
Venue: Beijing National Stadium (The Bird's Nest), Beijing, China
Date: July 27, 2012
This Friday, Arsenal and Manchester City will play each other at the Bird's Nest in Beijing. This will be the only match in the inaugural "China Cup".
In the EPL last season, Manchester City defeated Arsenal at home 1-0 while the scoreline was reversed in the second meeting. In the end, however, City was clearly the better of the two teams as they won the league with 89 points, with the Gunners finishing on 70 points.
This game is just a friendly match but it will give fans a chance to see two EPL title contenders in action.
Manchester United vs. Barcelona
Venue: Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, Sweden
Date: August 8, 2012
Manchester United and Barcelona met in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals, with the Spanish side winning in both encounters. United got a little revenge two months following their loss in 2011, as they beat the Blaugrana 2-1 in a club friendly in Washington D.C.
The two sides now face each other in a game that certainly won't be all that friendly. Both United and Barca had mediocre 2011-12 campaigns (for their standards) and will be eager to win many more trophies in this coming year.
Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Real Madrid
Venue: The Home Depot Center, Carson (California), USA
Date: August 2, 2012
LA Galaxy and Real Madrid have faced each other in the past two summers and will once again battle it out in Southern California.
In August 2010, the Galaxy had a 2-0 lead at halftime but ended up losing 3-2. In July 2011, it was a much easier match for Madrid as the Spanish side crushed Los Angeles 4-1.
This match has been very entertaining in the past and will be just as good this time around. It'll be interesting to see who plays for each team but you would expect David Beckham to get an outing against his former club.
PSG vs. Barcelona
Venue: Parc Des Princes, Paris, France
Date: August 4, 2012
With the arrivals of Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paris Saint-Germain appear to be the main up-and-coming team in Europe. The French team has spent approximately $250 million in the past year and is already viewed as underdogs to win the Champions League.
Barcelona has had a quiet summer so far but will view this match as a way to assert its dominance. Last season wasn't the best for the Spanish side and they will want to get back to winning ways (and trophies).