From the clubs taking part to the new signings to look out for, here’s everything you need to know about this pre-season competition
2019 Audi Cup, starts Thursday 30 July, ITV4/HD (CH 118/178)
The new football season is so close you can smell it. At least we hope that’s the new football season. But before all of the drama kicks off this August, it’s time for an unmissable warm-up tournament from Germany – the Audi Cup.
This year’s competition features some of European football’s starriest teams, with German giants Bayern Munich, Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid, Champions League runners-up Tottenham Hotspur and Turkish titans Fenerbahçe going head to head over two days of ace action.
Want to know more about this year’s tournament? As the sides prepare to square off live on ITV4, let us answer some of the big questions…
What is the Audi Cup?
It’s a pre-season tournament that Bayern Munich have hosted since 2009. Taking place every other year, the Germans and three other clubs from the continent battle it out over two days of top-class action at the Allianz Arena. Former champions include Bayern, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid.
How does it work?
There’s no messing around when it comes to the Audi Cup. The tournament opens with two semi-finals, before the third place play-off and final kick off the following day. Spurs will face the might of Madrid in their semi-final, while Bayern take on Fenerbahçe. Four games, two days, one must-watch tournament.
Should we read much into it ahead of the new season?
For fans, pre-season tournaments are thrilling if only for the fact that you get to watch new signings in your team’s colours for the first time. For the clubs it’s more of a chance to get those signings gelling with the rest of the squad rather than chasing victories. If you’re a Spurs supporter and they win the Audi Cup, our advice is don’t go out and get a “Premier League champions 2019-20” tattoo just yet.
Who are the new boys at Spurs?
Tottenham have been conspicuously inactive in recent transfer windows, but they’ve been splashing the cash this summer. The three players they’ve brought in so far are striker Kion Etete from Notts County, winger Jack Clarke (who’s been loaned back to Leeds United) and record signing Tanguy Ndombélé.
Tottenham’s dazzling new star – keep up! Considering the club paid Lyon around £55 million for his services earlier this summer, the box-fresh midfielder is expected to deliver this season. The 22-year-old France international has been likened to Chelsea legend Michael Essien, but this new kid on the Premier League block is a more skilled technician who loves driving forward.
Any other new signings to keep an eye on at the Audi Cup?
Just a few. Eden Hazard is likely to be involved for Real Madrid following his £90 million move from Chelsea, while the Spaniards could also field new £54 million striker Luka Jovic. For Bayern it’s all about their shiny new defenders, with Lucas Hernandez (£72 million from Atletico Madrid) and World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard (£31.5 million from Stuttgart) expected to feature.
Go on then, who’s going to win?
Audi Cup fixtures live on ITV4
Real Madrid v Tottenham Hotspur
Tuesday 30 July, kick-off 5pm, ITV4/HD (CH 118/178)
Bayern Munich v Fenerbahçe
Tuesday 30 July, kick-off 7.30pm, ITV4/HD (CH 118/178)
Third place play-off
Wednesday 31 July, kick-off 5pm, ITV4/HD (CH 118/178)
Wednesday 31 July, kick-off 7.30pm, ITV4/HD (CH 118/178)
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