Barclays Asia Trophy will see Arsenal, Stoke and Everton in Singapore during pre-season
Arsenal have confirmed their participation in next year’s pre-season 2015 Barclays Asia Trophy to be played at Singapore. Joining the Gunners in the tournament will be EPL rivals Stoke City and Everton.
The competition, which is held every two years, is the only Premier League affiliated competition to take place outside England. It will take place in Singapore for the first time since its inception in 2003 and Arsenal and Stoke will be making their debut appearances in the tournament while Everton have previously appeared in 2005. Singapore XI will be the fourth team in this year’s tournament.
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore expressed his delight at taking the Premier League brand to new shores.
He said, “We are very excited to bring the Barclays Asia Trophy to Singapore for the first time. We know Singaporeans love their football and that they are huge fans of the Barclays Premier League.
“Arsenal have always been one of the most thrilling teams in the Premier League: they have some wonderful players and I’m sure they’ll delight their many fans from across Southeast Asia.
“Everton under Roberto Martinez continue to play an exciting brand of football, while Stoke City mix flair with a never-say-die attitude. Fans in Singapore should expect our most competitive ever Barclays Asia Trophy.”
Stoke Arsenal rivalry to continue during off-season
The major attraction of the tournament will be the budding rivalry between Arsenal and Stoke. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has previously expressed his strong displeasure at the physical approach of the Potters’ game.
The Gunners have struggled against Stoke in the recent past and have only beaten them once in their last seven matches at the Britannia stadium. This year, the two teams have won one each in their league meetings.
The relationship has been further strained after Arsenal player Mathieu Debuchy dislocated his shoulder this season after a clash with Stoke’s Marko Arnautovic following the double fracture suffered by Aaron Ramsey in 2010 after a tackle by Ryan Shawcross. Wenger has been vocally critical of both incidents.