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Premier League takes Asia Trophy back to China

Football’s English Premier League has announced it will take its Asia Trophy tournament back to China for the first time in a decade, with reigning champion Manchester City and Chinese-owned Wolverhampton Wanderers amongst the four competing clubs.

The 2019 Premier League Asia Trophy will be held in two cities for the first time, with Nanjing and Shanghai playing host to the pre-season competition. Along with City and Wolves, Newcastle United and West Ham United will take part in the biennial tournament.

All four teams will play in a double-header at Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre on July 17, followed by the third-fourth place playoff and the final, which will both be staged at Shanghai’s Hongkou Stadium on July 20. Digital media company PP Sports will be the exclusive broadcaster for the Trophy in China.

This will be the ninth edition of the tournament and the second to be held in mainland China, after Beijing hosted it in 2009.

City Football Group, owner of Manchester City, last month confirmed the purchase of third-tier Chinese football team Sichuan Jiuniu. City will be making its third appearance, having won the trophy in 2013.

Newcastle is taking part for the second time after featuring in the inaugural competition in 2003, as is West Ham, which participated in 2009. It will be a debut appearance for Wolves, which is owned by Chinese conglomerate Fosun and is enjoying a strong first season back in the Premier League following promotion from the Championship.

The 2017 Asia Trophy was held in Hong Kong and was won by Liverpool.