HONG KONG - The Tottenham Hotspur squad for the Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong has been announced, with double Footballer of the Year Gareth Bale leading the way for Andre Villas-Boas's team.
Spurs will kick off the competition, the only Premier League-affiliated competition to be held outside England, when they take on Sunderland in Hong Kong Stadium on 24 July at 6pm local time (11am BST).
They will be hoping to repeat their victory over Paolo Di Canio's team on the final match of the 2012/13 Barclays Premier League season, when Bale's 90th-minute wonderstrike sealed an intriguing match at White Hart Lane.
Bale, who was crowned the FWA Footballer of the Year as well as winning the equivalent PFA award, is part of a 25-man squad that includes the team who beat Sunderland as well as the return of Sandro, the Brazilian midfielder who missed most of last season through injury. Also in the squad is Danny Rose, the left back, who is set to face his former team-mates in Hong Kong, having starred at Sunderland on loan last season.
Another player Spurs fans will welcome back is France defender Younes Kaboul, who missed much of last season through injury. Spurs only signing so far this summer, Paulinho, will not travel to Hong Kong. The midfielder has given extra time to rest having helped Brazil win the FIFA Confederations Cup at the end of last month.
But there will be a host of internationals on display for fans in Hong Kong to see as Villas-Boas looks to build on last season's record points total of 72 points. All but five players in the squad have appeared for their country at international level.
Villas-Boas views the tournament as ideal participation for the season ahead. "It is extremely important for us for our preparation," Villas-Boas said. "The Barclays Asia Trophy lets you step up a level in terms of opposition because of the other teams that are involved in it and gives us the opportunity to go abroad and continue our preparation in good facilities and in a comparative environment like the one we are going to face over there.
"The most important thing is for you to set up quickly and ready, always raising the competitive levels of the opposition that you are going to face, and the Barclays Asia Trophy offers exactly that."
After facing Sunderland, Spurs will take on Manchester City or South China in Hong Kong Stadium on 27 July.
Hugo Lloris, Brad Friedel, Heurelho Gomes.
Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Jan Vertonghen, Michael Dawson, Steven Caulker, Younes Kaboul, Daniel Rose.
Aaron Lennon, Andros Townsend, Gareth Bale, Tom Huddlestone, Mousa Dembele, Sandro Cordeiro, Scott Parker, Jake Livermore, Tom Carroll, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lewis Holtby.
Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe, Emmanuel Adebayor.