If we're being honest, pre-season fixtures aren't normally much to shout about. Often it's all about improving fitness leve...
If we're being honest, pre-season fixtures aren't normally much to shout about. Often it's all about improving fitness levels and trialling new things going into the new campaign and of course, it's where the well-travelled 'Trialist' gets about as much as he can.
But despite that, pre-season does bring about some tasty fixtures, which even at 50% of performance levels, will be worth a watch.
Here are the ten biggest pre-season friendlies happening this summer, with details as to when you can find them.
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City, July 20th (7:30pm)
Pep Guardiola will be back at the Allianz Arena sooner than expected, bringing his Manchester City side to Munich to play his former employers on July 20
Even with a good chunk of the stars missing, this fixture has plenty of intrigue. After all, a tactical battle between Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola isn't one to miss.
Barcelona vs Leicester City August 3rd (7pm)
Last season, Leicester’s pre-season friendlies included Lincoln, Mansfield and Burton. This summer, they face Barcelona!
The Foxes will hope that Vardy and Co can show the free-flowing attacking style that was the hallmark of their remarkable success last year against the Spanish giants.
This will be a harsh test for Ranieri to secure victory against the might of Barcelona. The 50,000 capacity at the Friends Arena is home to the Swedish national team and the country's only stadium with a retractable roof will prove an excellent venue for this much anticipated clash pitting the English champions against the Spanish..
Tottenham Hotspur vs Atletico Madrid July 29th (11am)
In the Australia version of the tournament, Spain meets England once again as Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs take on Champions League runners-up Atletico Madrid.
Manchester City vs Manchester United July 25th (12:30pm)
The Manchester derby happens in Beijing as part of China's participation in the International Champions Cup. On July 25, it's Guardiola vs Mourinho; Manchester City vs Manchester United.
Even for pre-season, both teams will not want to lose this one - if you watch one pre-season game this summer, make sure it's this one.down.
Manchester United vs Borussia Dortmund
Another big one in China sees Manchester United take on Borussia Dortmund, which happens a few days before that big showdown with Manchester City. Henrikh Mkhitaryan will come up against his ex employers on July 22 at Shanghai Stadium, 1pm start time.
Chelsea vs Real Madrid
Elsewhere, in the USA/Europe edition of the International Champions Cup, Antonio Conte's Chelsea and Champions League winners Real Madrid will battle on July 30 at Michigan Stadium. This match will also have a competitive edge and promises to be a enjoyable watch. 8pm kick-off for this one.
Liverpool vs Barcelona, August 6th
The battle between Premier League and La Liga continues at Wembley Stadium on August 6 by 5pm when Liverpool take on Barcelona. Both clubs have a deep history and have had some memorable meetings in the past in the Champions League. Though this one is not in Europe's coveted competition, it promises to be very exciting
West Ham United vs Juventus, August 7th (1pm)
Another huge pre-season match-up happening on English soil is the game between West Ham and Juventus, which will be the first game played at the Hammers' shiny new Olympic Stadium.
Who better to open the new ground than Juventus, who have been utterly dominant in Serie A for a number of years now. On August 7, BT Sport will be showing this fixture live at 1pm.
Arsenal vs Manchester City, August 7th (6pm)
In recent years, it has become fairly normal for Premier League sides to square off ahead of the new campaign and this year it's no different. One of the most appealing contests this time around is Arsenal's game against Manchester City, which happens at Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg on August 7.
The two sides have faced each-other quite regularly in pre-season over the years and this team there's extra spice as Pep Guardiola will be in the opposite dugout to Arsene Wenger. It should be a good one and it gets underway at 6pm.
Chelsea Vs Liverpool, July 28th (4:30pm)
Antonio Conte has been charged with taking Chelsea back to the top following last year's season of failure and fans will be looking for an early pre-season improvement to give positive signs for 2016/17.
The five-time Super Bowl venue will play host to these two Premier League sides and Reds fan will hope that Jurgen Klopp’s side can replicate last season’s 3-1 win over the Blues.
The German has strengthened Liverpool this summer, with the Reds needing to show greater prowess in front of goal compared to last season. The signing of Sadio Mane increases Klopp’s options in the striking department.