International Champions Cup series attracts top clubs
International Champions Cup series growing in prestige with top teams in the fray
Barcelona versus Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain against Chelsea.
These are enticing ties that one would normally expect in the Champions League, but you won't have to wait long to watch them.
The titanic clashes are on show during the International Champions Cup (ICC) from tomorrow to Aug 6.
For the past two years, the ICC has brought together some of the biggest clubs in world football in what has to be the highest-profile friendly tournament, which takes place as Europe's giants build towards the new season.
Real Madrid were the inaugural champions in 2013 when Cristiano Ronaldo inspired them to victory over Chelsea in the final, while last year's edition saw United pip bitter rivals Liverpool to the trophy in front of 51,014 fans in sunny Florida.
This year, the ICC gets a whole lot bigger with separate titles up for grabs in three different series - US Series, China Series and Australia Series.
The US Series is likely to garner the most interest, given it will see 10 teams, including Barcelona, United, Chelsea and PSG, do battle in seven different states in the US, as well as in London, Florence, Mexico City and Ontario.
July 26 is set to be a mouth-watering day with Barcelona facing off against United in California, before PSG play Chelsea in North Carolina.
English Premier League champions Chelsea will also lock horns with Barcelona, who won the treble of the Primera Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League last season, on July 29.
The other teams taking part in the US Series are Serie A outfit Fiorentina, Portuguese giants Benfica, Mexico's Club America and Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls and San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer (MLS).
While the bulk of the action will take place in North America, there will also be plenty to cheer about in the Australia Series as Melbourne host Real Madrid, Manchester City and Roma.
Ten-time European champions Real kick off proceedings at the 100,024-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground tomorrow against Roma, Serie A runners-up for the past two campaigns.
The Giallorossi play big-spending City three days later, before the 2013-14 Premier League champions finish things off against Real on July 24.
Should Los Blancos emerge as champions in Australia, they will have a chance to make it a double considering they are also participating in the China Series.
There, they will be vying for top honours against traditional Italian heavyweights AC Milan and Inter Milan, who have shared 36 Scudettos between them.
The bitter city rivals face off on July 25 in Shenzhen, which will be followed by Real taking on Inter on July 27 and the Rossoneri three days after.
Like in previous editions, all games ending in ties after 90 minutes will be decided by the penalty shoot-out.
Teams get three points for a regulation win, two for victory on penalties, and one if they lose in the shoot-out.
In the US Series, the champions will be the side with the most points after all teams have completed their four matches, while teams in both the Australia and China Series play two games each.
- Club America v Man United
- Benfica v Paris St Germain
July 22, 8.30am
- Paris St Germain v Fiorentina
July 22, 11am
- Barcelona v LA Galaxy
- Man United v San Jose
(Ch 203, SuperSports 3)
July 23, 8am
- New York Red Bulls v Chelsea
July 25, 8am
- Benfica v Fiorentina
July 26, 4am
- Barcelona v Man United
July 26, 6am
- Paris St Germain v Chelsea
July 27, 7.30am
- New York Red Bulls v Benfica
July 29, 8am
- Chelsea v Barcelona
July 29, 10am
- Club America v Benfica
July 30, 9am
- Man United v Paris St Germain
Aug 3, 3am
- Fiorentina v Barcelona
Aug 6, 3am
- Chelsea v Fiorentina
- Real Madrid v Roma
July 21, 6pm
- Roma v Man City
July 24, 6pm
- Man City v Real Madrid
July 25, 8pm
- AC Milan v Inter Milan
July 27, 8pm
- Inter Milan v Real Madrid
July 30, 8pm
- Real Madrid v AC Milan
* Singapore time, all matches live on StarHub TV Ch 202 (SuperSports 2) unless stated