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World Football: Top 6 Preseason Cups to Look Forward to This Summer

James WillisAnalyst IJuly 6, 2011

World Football: Top 6 Preseason Cups to Look Forward to This Summer

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Captain Manuel Almunia of Arsenal lifts the winners' trophy after the Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and Celtic  at Emirates Stadium on August 1, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    It's that time of season again, when a lot of teams are back for preseason training already.

    After just a month and a half off, most of the players reassemble, slightly earlier this year due to no World Cup, to begin preparations for the new season.

    Amongst all the pre-season training, and the friendly warm up matches, there are a number of friendly warm up competitions which always provide a nice start to the season.

    Most of the biggest teams are back in action again this year, in numerous competitions around the globe.

    So here they are, six of the best preseason tournaments, coming to you throughout July.

2011 Vodacom Challenge

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    PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 25, Josta Dladla of Kaiser Chiefs celebrates with the trophy during the final of the 2009 Vodacom Challenge match between Kaizer Chiefs and Manchester City at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on July 25, 2009 in Pretoria, South Africa
    Gallo Images/Getty Images

    Teams involved: Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Tottenham Hotspur

    Dates: 16th July - 21st July

    Favourites: Tottenham Hotspur

    For some players it will be another summer spent back in South Africa after last year's World Cup, and for Tottenham it will be a good challenge to start the season.

    On paper, Tottenham should be far and away the strongest team, but based on past years of this competition it's never as straight forward as it seems.

2011 Emirates Cup

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01:  Captain Manuel Almunia of Arsenal lifts the winners' trophy after the Emirates Cup match between Arsenal and Celtic  at Emirates Stadium on August 1, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Teams involved: Arsenal, New York Red Bulls, Paris Saint-Germain, Boca Juniors

    Dates: 30th July - 31st July

    Favourites: Arsenal

    Arsenal have made the most of their new stadium since it's opening a number of years ago, and whether it's by sponsors demands or not, they'll be hosting another Emirates Cup again this year.

    Although perhaps an ever so slightly weaker line up than some of the past competitions, none of the teams taking part are by any means push overs. It will also see a welcome return for Thierry Henry at Arsenal.

2011 Premier League Asia Trophy

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    BEIJING - JULY 31:  Players of Tottenham Hotspur celebrate their winning after the Barclays Asia Trophy pre-season friendly match between Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City at Workers Stadium on July 31, 2009 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Image
    Feng Li/Getty Images

    Teams involved: Chelsea, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Kitchee

    Dates: 27th July - 30th July

    Favourites: Chelsea

    Generally hosted every two years, with Tottenham winning the last edition back in 2009, the Barclays Asia Trophy takes three Premier League teams to, believe it or not, Asia.

    This year it will be Hong Kong side, Kitchee, that will take on three top Premier League clubs, hopfeully making it a good challenge for all involved.

MLS All-Star 2011

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    HOUSTON - JULY 28:  Ryan Giggs #11 of Manchester United holds the All-Star trophy following United's 5-2 win over the MLS All-Stars in the MLS All Star Game at Reliant Stadium on July 28, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Teams involved: MLS All-Stars, Manchester United

    Dates: July 27th

    Favourites: Manchester United

    Not as much an entire tournament, but still a good competition.

    Manchester United will again, this year, face off against a team of MLS stars as they look to bring more attention to the sport in the states. Could David Beckham feature somewhere?

Audi Cup 2011

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    MUNICH, GERMANY - JULY 28:  Head coach of AC Milan Leonardo, head coach of Bayern Louis van Gaal, head coach of Boca Juniors Alfio Basile and head coach of Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson attend the press conference during the Audi Cup 2009 at the Wes
    Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images

    Teams involved: Internacional, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, AC Milan

    Dates: 26th July - 27th July

    Favourites: Barcelona

    The Audi Cup will be held once again this year and has a sterling line up of teams. Top Brazilian side Internacional, will take on three European clubs that could quite easily make up most of the Champions League semi finals without any questions asked.

    Taking place over two days, it will be a good test for all of these sides to start their season's against the best the world has to offer.

The Dublin Super Cup 2011

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    DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 18:  A view of the stadium during the UEFA Europa League Final between FC Porto and SC Braga at Dublin Arena on May 18, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Teams involved: Celtic, Airtricity XI, Inter Milan, Manchester City

    Dates: 30 July - 31 July

    Favourites: Inter Milan

    Finally, the Dublin Super Cup 2011. Another very strong lineup of teams, which despite Manchester City's recent growth, would have to have Inter Milan as the pre-tournament favourites.

    They'll also face Scottish runners up Celtic, and "Airtricity XI," a team made up of players from around the Irish league to try to increase knowledge of football in that area.

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