Barclays Asia Trophy

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Barclays Asia Trophy
Photo: Jeremy Lee/Action Images

Here’s a toughie: you’re a diehard Gooner, so when your team plays against your national side, who do you cheer on?

Well, fans of Arsenal, Everton and Stoke City will have that problem this month, when the three Premiership teams make their way to Singapore to compete in the Barclays Asia Trophy – essentially a pre-season friendly tournament. They’ll face off against the Singapore Select XI, so here’s hoping the Singapore Sports Hub, where the games are played, thunders with ‘Referee kelong!’ rather than ‘Arsenal ’til I die!’

The Barclays Asia Trophy, held here for the first time, follows a knockout format over two days. Everton take on Stoke, while Arsenal play the Singapore Select XI on the first. The second day sees the winners advance to the finals and the losers settle for a third-place playoff. We’d love to see the likes of Sahil Suhami net one against Ospina – it’s been way too long since Indra Sahdan slotted home past Manchester United’s Barthez.

But let’s be realistic here. We lost that match 8-1. And, in the recent game against Juventus, we were also put to the sword, succumbing 5-0. Sure, Singapore isn’t up there with the footballing elite. That doesn’t mean we should let the Kallang Roar go gently into that good night, right?

By: Iliyas Ong

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