Celebration

Preview: Barclays Asia Trophy final

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Sunderland ready to take on Manchester City in Hong Kong.

Sunderland and Manchester City will play for the Barclays Asia Trophy in the showpiece final in Hong Kong today (KO 1330 BST).

Paolo Di Canio's side booked their place in the final with a 3-1 victory over Spurs on Wednesday, with new boys Cabral and David Moberg Karlsson both scoring either side of Wes Brown's header.

Meanwhile City faced Hong Kong champions South China, winning 1-0 thanks to Edin Dzeko's goal midway through the first half.

Sunderland boss Di Canio has made eight additions to his squad this summer, with four of those – Cabral, Vito Mannone, Emanuele Giaccherini and Jozy Altidore – handed starts against Spurs.

Valentin Roberge, Moberg Karlsson and El Hadji Ba all featured off the bench, with Moberg Karlsson particularly influential.

He supplied a perfect corner for Brown's goal and then followed up by beating Brad Friedel with a measured finish after being played in by Stephane Sessegnon.

Di Canio picked out many positives from the performance and will be looking for his side to produce more of the same today.

It remains to be seen whether changes will be in the offing with a 21-man squad named for the midweek game.

Today's game will be City's fourth pre-season friendly, with the Manchester club arriving in Hong Kong directly from a trip to South Africa.

There, Manuel Pellegrini's side suffered a pair of defeats, losing 2-0 to Supersport United and 2-1 to AmaZulu FC.

While Sunderland have shuffled their pack during the off-season, City have made a number of changes too with Pellegrini quick to add to his squad.

Two of the new boys – Fernandinho and Alvaro Negredo – featured in the South China game, with the latter coming off the bench in the second half.

Stevan Jovetic and Jesus Navas have also joined the club this summer but are continuing to work towards match fitness.

The final will kick off at 8.30pm local time with the victors crowned the sixth winners of the tournament.

Chelsea, Bolton, Portsmouth and Spurs have all lifted the trophy, with Chelsea winning it twice including on the most recent occasion in 2011 when they beat Aston Villa.