The Lunar New Year Cup returns to Hong Kong Stadium for 2019 and promises a feast of football for fans to pig out on. This year sees a return to the four-team format that has served the tournament so well over the years and with that there’s a few big names to look forward to. World Cup winner Fernando Torres is the most high-profile of them, with the Spaniard leading the line for Japanese J.League side Sagan Tosu. @saganofficial17 #SaganTosu pic.twitter.com/UFqCGDJZCK — Fernando Torres (@Torres) 28 January 2019 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> The former Liverpool and Atletico Madrid striker scored the goals that kept the club in the J1 League last season, with the team finishing 14th on the table. New boss Lluis Carreras brings Torres, recently arrived former Barcelona winger Isaac Cuenca and one-time Roma forward Victor Ibarbo to Hong Kong but will be without Japan keeper Shuichi Gonda, the only player from the club called up to the Asian Cup squad, who has since left for Portuguese side Portimonense. Carreras will likely use the tournament to get to know his players but Torres’ enduring class could still see them contest the trophy. Wu Lei – China’s Maradona, or football’s Yao Ming? Espanyol’s new signing faces pressure in ‘one of best leagues in the world’ ⚽️ GOALS | The 5 goals from the Gridlock Derby thriller against @ESAFC at Kiwitea Street on Saturday ICYMI Extended highlights at https://t.co/ICmRDq5cO9 #NavyBlues #ISPSHandaPrem pic.twitter.com/auSp5fCIc9 — Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) 28 January 2019 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> Auckland City return to the tournament that they won in 2017 and Ramon Tribulietx will want his serial winners to take the trophy back to New Zealand. The Auckland outfit won the New Zealand Premiership last season, topping the table in the regular season and then winning the play-offs, and currently sit a whopping 11 points clear at the top of the table. That form will stand them in good stead against Hong Kong’s scratch side and the East Asian clubs in the middle of pre-season. They claimed a confidence-boosting 1-0 league win over title rivals Canterbury United on Saturday before boarding a flight to Hong Kong, and have now won 13 straight domestic games. Fifa Club World Cup regulars, City’s diverse squad has been with the Spanish coach for years and they went to seven Club World Cups in a row from 2011 to 2017 on the back of seven OFC Champions League wins. Former Burnley midfielder Cameron Howieson brings a touch of English Premier League quality to the side. Farewell, Marouane Fellaini? Fresh start in China for man who summed up Manchester United’s post-Ferguson identity crisis Shandong Luneng are offering Marouane Fellaini (31) a three year deal. Not everything has been done as yet, but all parties hope to conclude an agreement asap. Fee expected to be around £10m. #mufc pic.twitter.com/p0QytCOTsE — Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) 30 January 2019 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> Shandong Luneng are the other visiting team and arguably the most high-profile. The Chinese Super League side were involved in the title race in 2018, even topping the table for a couple of weeks in the first third of the season, before falling away towards the final weeks. They did reach the Chinese FA Cup final but lost to Beijing Guoan over two legs. Third place and cup runners up was enough to secure their return to the AFC Champions League. Manager Lu Xiaopeng is a club legend, playing most of his career with the Jinan-based side. The four time winners of the CSL were the last team to win it before Guangzhou Evergrande began their dominance of the title back in 2010. They also won the FA Cup four times and made the quarter-finals of the Champions League back in 2016. Diego Tardelli receives one-game ban for disrespecting Chinese national anthem Former Italy striker Graziano Pelle is arguably their most high-profile foreigner while Roger Guedes has impressed in spurts since joining on loan from Brazil’s Palmeiras. Defender Gil occupies another space in their foreigner quota. China internationals Wang Dalei, Hao Junmin, Jin Jingdao and Liu Yang will be expected to feature after helping the national team to the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup in the UAE. Headline-grabbing new signing Marouane Fellaini is a doubt to play in Hong Kong because of a calf strain. China keeper Wang Dalei sets up Graziano Pelle for last minute equaliser as Shandong Luneng chase Chinese Super League title The Hong Kong League XI for the Lunar New Year Cup. As expected, the majority of players are from Pegasus, as they are officially hosting the event. Coach for this occasion is Kevin Bond. #hkfootball #HKPL #LNYCup #LunarNewYearCup pic.twitter.com/26l7uLeGxr — Football in HK (@offsideHK) 17 January 2019 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> The teams are rounded out by the hosts, a Hong Kong select side led by Hong Kong Premier League club Pegasus. As you’d expect, it is Pegasus that provide the lion’s share of Kevin Bond’s squad, with 14 coming from the club. Kitchee trio Jordi, Lucas and Fernando join them, as do Hong Kong R&F pair Leung Nok-hang and Lo Kwan-yee. Yuen Long provide Cleiton and Jean Moser, Southern are represented by Wellingsson and Shay Spitz, while Lee Man’s Cheng Siu-kwan and Fran Gonzalez are in the mix. Dreams midfielder Gondra rounds out the guests for Pegasus and pals. Hong Kong Premier League title race thrown wide open after Hoi King shock hopefuls Southern CHAMPIONS | Your 2017 Nike Lunar New Year Cup Champions Auckland City! pic.twitter.com/YkWG4e863C — Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) 31 January 2017 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> A Manchester United Hong Kong pre-season friendly is unlikely due to high price tag, says senior official Match schedule February 5 Shandong Luneng vs Auckland City – 4pm Hong Kong Select vs Sagan Tosu – 6.15pm February 7 Third-place play-off – 4pm Final – 6.15pm George Best, Bobby Moore and Arie Haan: when Hong Kong football attracted World Cup and Champions League winners Tickets, which include access to all four matches over the two days, are priced at HK$480 / HK$280 / HK$180 (concessions).