Pre-season friendlies: 10 of the best matches to look forward to before the Premier League season starts

The season gets underway again on 16 August

The Premier League might not be back until August, but there are some exciting looking fixtures coming up during the pre-season friendly period. Here we pick the best 10:

Arsenal vs Benfica

Emirates Stadium, 2 August

Arsenal will face reigning Primeira Liga holders Benfica in Arsenal’s opening fixture of the Emirates Cup. The Gunners will face Benfica at home, in what seems an intriguing encounter between two excellent teams. This will be a good opportunity for Arsene Wenger to incorporate new signing Alexis Sanchez into proceedings, with the Chilean promising plenty following his performances at the World Cup. Despite the acquisition of Sanchez, Benfica will provide a stern test for the London club following their form in Portugal, and Europe, last season.

Arsenal vs Monaco

Emirates Stadium, 3 August

In Arsenal’s second match of the Emirates Cup, the Gunners will face big-spending Monaco. Assuming Colombian star James Rodríguez stays at the Stade Louis, this will be an excellent opportunity to see the Colombian in action since his electric performances at the World Cup. Monaco currently boast a talented squad, with Colombia’s Radamel Falcao, in addition to Rodríguez, likely to trouble Arsenal’s back four.

Chelsea vs Werder Bremen

Wesser Stadium, 3 August

This will be an exciting opportunity to see new signings Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa in action at the Wesser Stadium. Chelsea have bought well so far over the summer window, addressing problems in midfield and attack. With this particular encounter, it will be intriguing to see how well new signings Costa and Fabregas perform, with Werder Bremen boasting a well organised defence.

Everton vs Porto

Goodison Park, 3 August

Everton midfielder Leon Osman will be given a fitting testimonial match against Portuguese giants Porto. Out of the three pre-season fixtures, Porto boast the strongest challenge to Martinez. Everton recently signed midfielder Gareth Barry, on a free, from Manchester City, and additional signings will be needed to challenge at the upper echelon of the table this season. The Portuguese outfit had a difficult season last season, and will therefore  be looking to dampen the mood at Goodison.


Liverpool vs Roma

Boston, USA, 23 July

New Roma signing Ashely Cole will have a chance to face Premier League opposition, so soon after his departure from Chelsea, in the form of Liverpool. Roma overachieved last season, finishing 2 in Seria A, meaning the Italian team will likely prove a stern test for Rodgers and his team. Liverpool have made some marquee additions to their squad, with new signings Adam Lallana and Ricky Lambert the most notable. Both players will probably feature in Rodgers team for the fixture.

Manchester City vs AC Milan

Heinz Field, USA, 27 July

City’s opening encounter in the Guinness International Champions Cup will be against Italian giants AC Milan. Milan had a poor season last year, finishing 8, and will therefore be looking to start this pre-season campaign strongly. City players Sergio Aguero and Martin Demichelis recently suffered extreme disappointment in the World Cup Final, meaning this tie will be a good chance to see how both bounce back from recent disappointment.

Manchester City vs Liverpool

New York, USA, 30 July

An all English tie, in the Guinness International Champions Cup, will follow City’s opening encounter against AC Milan. To many, this will seem the most intriguing, and significant, of the fixtures, with both teams battling it out so closely for the Premier League title last season. It is unclear how significant the loss of Luis Suarez will be for Liverpool; the result, and performance of Liverpool against City, should shed some light on the matter.

Manchester United vs Inter Milan

Washington DC, USA,  29 July

United, partaking in the same competition as Liverpool and Manchester City, will face Inter Milan in their second fixture of the Guinness International Champions Cup. Attention  has been directed at current United manager, and previous Netherlands manager, Louis Van Gaal. The presence of Van Gaal will certainly enhance the appeal of the encounter for the neutral, as it will be intriguing to see if he can turn this United side back to winning ways. Inter Milan, despite their apparent deficiencies last season, should still provide stern opposition.

Manchester United vs Real Madrid

Ann Arbor, USA, 2 August

Cristiano Ronaldo will face his old club in a mouth-watering clash between Manchester United and Real Madrid on 2 August. A re-run of the 2013 Champions League round of 16 encounter between these two sides, United and Madrid boast extreme talent in both squads. Madrid, with their current squad, should be favourites, and will likely test the ultimate resolve of United’s back four. As this is the final group stage match for both teams, this match has additional impetus, especially for the neutral.

Tottenham vs Schalke 04

White Hart Lane, 9 August

Tottenham’s final pre-season fixture will be against Schalke 04 of Germany. New manager Mauricio Pochettino has failed, thus far, to make any marquee signings. Tottenham will need to add additional quality to challenge a strong Schalke team, who finished last season 3, and boast the likes of German talent Julian Draxler and Netherlands international Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Out of all of Tottenham’s pre-season fixtures, Schalke will probably prove the sternest of tests.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent