The Premier League Asia Trophy brings the two clubs to Hong Kong as they seek to further their pre-season preparations
While there is still just under a month to go before the Premier League kicks off, fans can get a taste of the action early with this month’s Asia Trophy.
Liverpool, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion compete for the trophy in Hong Kong, with the second pair playing in the opening match on Wednesday.
Leicester favourites to win Asia Trophy clash
The Foxes will be buoyed by a strong end to last season, but will it be enough to deliver glory in the tournament in the coming days?
|Game||Leicester City vs West Bromwich Albion|
|Date||Wednesday, July 19|
|Time||18:00 (local) / 11:00 BST|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the United Kingdom, the match will be available to watch live on television on Sky Sports 1 and by stream via the SkyGo app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports 1||Sky Go|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
After gaining a more than respectable 12th place in the top flight, Craig Shakespeare now is tasked with building on that impressive run-in and putting Leicester back in the top half of the table.
Three new names have joined the Foxes squad, with Sam Hughes, Harry Maguire and Vicente Iborra all joining since the transfer window reopened.
Maguire and Iborra both travelled to Hong Kong; as did Riyad Mahrez, despite the constant speculation linking the Algeria international with a move away.
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Tony Pulis, meanwhile, will be without two West Brom stalwarts for the Asia Trophy. Gareth McCauley is excused from travelling as he recovers from a thigh injury, while James Morrison has been granted leave after the death of a close friend.
Among Pulis’ 21-man squad for Hong Kong is new signing, striker Jay Rodriguez, while former Manchester United man Jonny Evans will wear the captain’s armband for the trip.
Leicester are 6/5 favourites to win the opener, according to dabblebet , while West Brom are backed at 2/1. A draw is given at 21/10.
History is being revisited in the Asia Trophy, as 39 years ago West Brom became the first professional English club to venture past the Chinese border for a tour that gave birth to a limitless supply of incredible anecdotes – many of which revolve around the ever-exuberant Ron Atkinson, manager at the time.
Almost four decades down the line things have certainly changed both in China and the English top flight, meaning the 2017 WBA vintage are likely to take a slightly more serious view of their duties in the far east. After scraping a top-half finish in the Premier League last season the Baggies enjoy the luxury of a settled, coherent team, making them forever difficult to break down.
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Leicester, meanwhile, spent most of the last 12 months apparently in a dreamworld after defying the odds in such spectacular fashion, with predictable results on the pitch.
The hero of the King Power Stadium, Claudio Ranieri, was given his marching orders, and only when Shakespeare entered did the Foxes’ tragedy start to lift. The manager is obviously not planning for another title assault, but any improvement on last year’s final position would be welcome news for those at the club.
With time running out before the campaign begins the Asia Trophy is a great chance for both teams to get top-class match time and also enter the fight for a trophy – but to do so they will have to win Wednesday’s semi-final first.