Barclays Asia Trophy 2013
The Barclays Asia Trophy was played in Hong Kong from July 24 to 27 and saw Sunderland, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and South China compete. Manchester City were the winners, beating Sunderland 1–0 in the final. The tournament was dogged by issues with Hong Kong Stadium's waterlogged pitch, which was blamed for an ankle injury sustained by Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen.
New boy Giaccherini arrives with Sunderland
A full strength Sunderland arrived in Hong Kong yesterday, including their latest signing Italy international Emanuele Giaccherini, in an attempt to win the Barclays Asia Trophy which kicks off this week.
Team manager Paolo Di Canio, who took over from Martin O'Neill early in the year, said they would mean business in Hong Kong.
"We are not here for shopping although Hong Kong is a beautiful place and everybody wants to come," said the Italian. "We come here to play, train, have good food, rest and start again with an intention to try to win the trophy because it is an important competition, in a way a big challenge as we are going to meet in the league two of the best sides.
"I can see my team play in a real test against top footballers ... that's a very important test for the players and for me to test them."
Sunderland, who were in Italy for a training camp before their arrival, will take on Tottenham at Hong Kong Stadium on Wednesday, while Manchester City and Hong Kong champions South China face off in the other match. The two winners meet in Saturday's final and the two others play for third place.
Di Canio did not say whether Giaccherini, who joined from Serie A side Juventus last week, would start in either game.
"He was with Italy just a few weeks ago and has to rest," said the team manager. "You do not expect to see him very fit or fully fit in the few days' time as he needs to work hard."
The attacking midfielder, who featured in the Confederations Cup in Brazil, signed a four-year deal at the Stadium of Light.
Although the Italian has made a number of signings this summer, he did not rule out the chance of more new recruits.
"Of course we need some more but we also know the club have already made sacrifices by spending this money. But I am optimistic we will bring in one or two players. We'll see," he said.
Captain John O'Shea said the first game against Tottenham would be a fantastic test as they had a couple of good games against them last season and the tournament "will be a very good test to see where we are, especially in fitness after a busy pre-season in Italy".