This article has been updated with the latest highlights from each of the Winter Festival of Football matches
There will be no such thing as a quiet off season this year with Network 10 and Paramount+ offering up a stacked Winter Festival of Football which will feature the very best from the coveted English Premier League.
The Festival kicks off in Bangkok with a clash between fierce rivals Liverpool and Manchester United. Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are coming off the back of a trophy-laden season which saw them win both the FA Cup and League Cup. Up until May, they were still in with a chance of a domestic treble after just being pipped to the Premier League title by Manchester City on the final matchday.
In contrast, United had a season that was marred with inconsistency. The Red Devils could only manage a sixth-placed finish under interim manager Ralph Ragnick as they settled for a campaign without silverware. They say there is no such thing is a friendly, and you can be sure to believe that when these two heavyweights go blow for blow. The United players as well as their supporters will want revenge after falling to two heavy defeats against Liverpool last season.
This will be the first glimpse of Manchester’s new manager Erik ten Hag who will be looking to bring back the glory days to United with a new look squad that will be without the recently departed trio of Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard.
Liverpool’s next and final leg of their Asian tour takes them to Singapore where they will do battle against Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.
The men from Selhurst Park secured a 12th placed finish and had quite the record against the top teams – registering a win and draw against City while also coming away with wins against Arsenal and United.
It is now time to focus on all the football coming down under, with seven matches taking place across Australia, with all the action live on Paramount+ and Network 10 – the home of football.
Manchester United at the MCG
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will play host to two must-watch matches featuring Manchester United. First up will be a cracking tie as Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s side Melbourne Victory face off against the Red Devils. This won’t be the first time that an English powerhouse club has played at the 100,000 seater stadium with Liverpool making the trip in 2013 when they took on Victory in front of 95,446 fans.
Ten Hag will once again be under the spotlight with plenty of attention from the global media who will already be passing judgement on the Dutchman’s start to life with United.
Following on from that mammoth tie will be an all Premier League affair as United take on Palace.
Australian Eagles' fans will finally get the chance to see their side in action as they play in one of Australia's most iconic stadiums.
The Queensland Champions Cup
The Queensland Champions Cup will see Isuzu UTE A-League side Brisbane Roar host a round-robin competition against EPL clubs Leeds United and Aston Villa across the Sunshine State in July.
Football fans will be able to watch all the action live and free on 10 and 10 play. First up will be an almighty clash between Brisbane and Leeds on the Gold Coast on Thursday, July 14.
Roar had a challenging campaign which saw them miss out on the finals series while their English opponents survived the drop by the skin of their teeth thanks to their win over Brentford in the final match of the season.
This preseason will provide Leeds’ American manager Jesse Marsch with the opportunity to stamp his style of play on the squad that he inherited from Marcelo Bielsa. Marsch promotes a far less intense regime than his predecessor which may have been one of the driving forces behind his side’s change in fortunes since he took over in February.
Leeds’ next match will see them face off against fellow EPL outfit Aston Villa who have Steven Gerrard at the helm. The former star midfielder will also be entering his first full season in charge after his side finished 14th. They will be buoyed by the permanent transfer of Philippe Coutinho who spent last season on loan from Barcelona where he managed five goals in 19 appearances.
The final Cup match will see Villa face off against Roar in Townsville. Could Roar spring an upset or will Gerrard’s men get the job done in the North Queensland humidity?
EPL heads west for ICON – Perth’s Festival of International Football
The final two matches of the Australian Winter Festival of Football which will form part of Perth’s Festival of International Football will be live and free on Network 10 – the home of football.
Two matches featuring all EPL clubs will take place over two massive nights at Perth’s Optus Stadium.
Western Australia’s Palace and Leeds supporters will be able to see their beloved clubs in action as they face off in the opening match.
This will be Palace’s second match down under while Leeds will head into this tie after competing in the Queensland Champions Cup.
The seventh and final match of the Australian leg of the WFF will see two traditional Premier League clubs go toe-to-toe as Manchester United meet Aston Villa.
These two historical clubs will bring a close to what is sure to be an action-filled WFF down under as they travel from the east coast to treat the West Australians to a spectacle.
FC Series/Florida Cup 2022
Australian football fans will also get to experience all the action from the FC Series/Florida Cup 2022 live and exclusive on Paramount+.
The Australian-friendly kick off times will see all four matches from the United States taking place in the morning.
First up we will take you to Las Vegas as Chelsea prepare to take on Mexican heavyweights Club América.
It will then be time for Aussie Arsenal supporters to cheer on their Gunners as they come up against MLS club Orlando City four days later.
Orlando are sitting in the top five of the MLS’ eastern conference and unlike their English opponents, they will be in the thick of their season when they meet next month.
Watch Orlando City vs Arsenal live and exclusive on Paramount+ from 0920 on Thursday, July 21 – kick off at 0930 AEST.
That Thursday morning will also see Chelsea take on Charlotte FC with a simultaneous kick off time of 0930. Charlotte are one of the MLS’ newest expansion teams who are sitting just out the playoffs in the eastern conference.
Watch Charlotte FC vs Chelsea live and exclusive on Paramount+ from 0920 on Thursday, July 21 – kick off at 0930 AEST.
The eighth edition of the Florida Cup will conclude on Sunday, July 24 (AEST) with an all Premier League clash of the titans as Arsenal go head to head against Chelsea in Orlando.
The two fierce London rivals will not treat this match lightly with the Gunners coming out on top in their last meeting in April but it was the Blues who claimed the three points in the infancy of the 2021/2022 campaign.