The International Champions Cup returns in July, with games between the leading clubs in the world played across three continents in July and August.
Here, we pick out six of the biggest games coming up this summer.
July 25: Manchester City vs. Liverpool, MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
Manchester City will arrive in the United States as Premier League champions, but they will face Liverpool having lost all three of their meetings with Jurgen Klopp’s team in 2018. If anyone knows how to defeat City and Pep Guardiola, it is Liverpool’s coach, and this clash in New Jersey promises to be a taster for next season’s title race in England.
Liverpool are likely to unveil £62 million signing Naby Keita following his much-anticipated arrival from RB Leipzig, with City also expected to spend big this summer to build a squad capable of winning the Champions League next season.
July 26: Arsenal vs. Atletico Madrid, National Stadium (Kallang, Singapore)
With the two clubs meeting in the Europa League semifinals, this clash in Singapore will offer the losers a quick chance for revenge as they prepare for the new campaign. The big question mark hanging over Arsenal as they head into the summer, however, is whether the team will be under new management following 22 years under the guidance of Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal’s failure to challenge for Champions League qualification via the Premier League this season has placed Wenger under increasing pressure. Could this meeting with Atletico be the start of a new era or simply more of the same for the Gunners?
July 28: Manchester United vs. Liverpool, Michigan Stadium (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
The biggest game in English football is set for The Big House — the giant home stadium of the University of Michigan football team — with Manchester United and Liverpool aiming to draw an even bigger crowd than the 109,318 attendance for United’s friendly against Real Madrid in the stadium in August 2014. The two clubs, which have won 38 English titles between them (United 20, Liverpool 18), met outside England for the first time in 2014, when they contested the final of the ICC in Miami, with Louis van Gaal’s United winning on that occasion.
With the two teams expected to emerge as the closest challengers to Manchester City in the Premier League next season, this encounter could give clues as to which will be the best bet to dethrone Pep Guardiola’s men.
July 31: Roma vs. Barcelona, AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
This game might have been on the undercard this summer prior to the incredible encounter in the Stadio Olimpico that saw Roma overturn a 4-1 first-leg deficit against Barcelona to eliminate the La Liga giants in the Champions League quarterfinal stage. After that unforgettable night in Rome, this meeting between the two sides in Texas has become one of the must-see games of the summer, with Barca offered an early opportunity to hit back.
For Roma, the fixture will be an opportunity to gauge their prospects of winning Serie A for the first time since 2001 next season, while Barcelona simply need to get the Champions League defeat out of their system as quickly as possible.
July 31: Real Madrid vs. Manchester United, Hard Rock Stadium (Miami, Florida)
This is a game that has become an annual “Who will Gareth Bale be playing for?” competition. So far, the Wales winger has remained at Real Madrid, but speculation continues to link the former Tottenham man with a big-money move to Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho is a confirmed admirer of the 28-year-old, who is expected to be involved throughout this summer’s ICC due to Wales’ failure to qualify for the World Cup.
With or without Bale, United are likely to be busy in the transfer market this summer, with Mourinho expected to make wholesale changes to his squad. In short, expect new faces in Miami. Real are also in the hunt for reinforcements, but United will fight hard to ensure that goalkeeper David de Gea remains out of the Spanish club’s reach.
Aug. 4: Real Madrid vs. Juventus, FedEx Field (Landover, Maryland)
Juve’s anger might still be simmering by the time this game comes around. Passions are certain to be stirred by memories of the controversial Champions League quarterfinal exit against Real in the Santiago Bernabeu, which saw Gianluigi Buffon sent off by referee Michael Oliver deep inside stoppage time.
Buffon is likely to have vacated the stage by the start of next season, with the 40-year-old goalkeeper expected to retire at the end of this campaign. But Juventus will be determined to strike a blow against Real following the events at the Bernabeu, and this is a game that has an extra sense of edge to it.
Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_