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Wolves confirm tournament trip to China for Asia Trophy

Wolves have confirmed they will heading to China this summer for the first time in its history to compete in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will play two matches in the competition, on Wednesday July 17 in Nanjing and Saturday, July 20 in Shanghai, as the club makes its first appearance in the biennial tournament.

Wolves will be joined by fellow Premier League clubs Manchester City, Newcastle United and West Ham, going head-to-head with one of those teams at the 61,443-capacity Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre on July 17.

  Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre.

The winners of the two matches will then face each other in the final at the 33,060-capacity Shanghai’s Hongkou Stadium on July 20 following a third/fourth place play-off.

Hongkou Stadium

This is the second Asia Trophy to be held in mainland China but the first time the tournament has taken place in two different locations.

Wolves’ managing director Laurie Dalrymple said: “We’re very excited to be a part of the Premier League Asia Trophy this summer on the back of a fantastic first season in the Premier League.

Through our ownership group Fosun, Wolves have a great connection with China and it’s important the club is involved in one of the fastest growing markets in world football, while also giving our fans from Asia the opportunity to watch Nuno’s team play up close.

It will be a fantastic experience for everybody connected to the football club and we all look forward to visiting Nanjing and Shanghai in July.”

The competition will be officiated by Premier League referees and assistants as well as local match officials and will be staged in accordance with Premier League rules.

Should Wolves finish seventh in the Premier League, they will qualify for the Europa League second qualifying round and there will be just five days between the game in Shanghai and a potential first competitive European tie since 1980-81.

The Europa League second qualifying round first leg takes place on July 25. However if Wolves were to win the FA Cup for the first time since 1960 they would enter the Europa League at the group stages.

West Bromwich Albion (2017), Villa (2011) and Birmingham (2003) have previously taken part in the competition.

Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre is the home of Chinese Super League outfit Jiangsu Suning, while the Hongkou Stadium – the first football stadium to be built in China – is home to local team Shanghai Greenland Shenhua FC.

Hongkou Stadium was the first football stadium to be built in China, and was re-built in 1999, over the previous 46-year-old venue.

This is the ninth edition of the Premier League Asia Trophy, with Manchester City making their third appearance after winning the trophy in 2013, while Newcastle and West Ham are taking part for the second time.

The Hammers’ other appearance in 2009 coincided with the last time the tournament was held in mainland China when they faced Tottenham and Hull City in Beijing.

Newcastle are taking part for the second time after featuring in the inaugural competition in 2003.

Ticket details for the competition will be announced in due course.