Football: Barclays Asia Trophy a possible prelude to success for Premier League teams

The Barclays Asia Trophy. PHOTO: EPA

SINGAPORE - The Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore could be a crystal ball for fans looking to make predictions about their teams' prospects for the upcoming season.

Now into its seventh edition, the biennial pre-season tournament for English Premier League (EPL) clubs has been seen by some as an inconsequential competition but recent history has shown that winning the trophy is a good omen.

Everton, together with Arsenal and Stoke City, are in little doubt of the fact that three past winners have gone on to lift silverware the following season.

Upon arrival at Changi Airport's JetQuay CIP terminal on Monday, Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard said that his team will be treating the Barclays Asia Trophy tournament seriously so the Toffees can hit the ground running in the new campaign in August.

"Performances at this point matter. It's only by putting in good performances and the rest will follow," Howard said.

Here is a look at the winners who have used the Barclays Asia Trophy as a springboard for success for the following season.

1) Portsmouth - 2007 edition in Hong Kong, won the FA Cup in 2007-08 season

Seeing off Rafael Benitez's Liverpool 4-2 on penalties after a goalless draw proved to be the start of a successful season for Portsmouth.

They went on to finish eighth in the Premier League and capped it off by winning the FA Cup, their first triumph in 69 years, beating Cardiff City 1-0 courtesy of striker Nwankwo Kanu's goal in the 39th minute.

2) Chelsea - 2011 edition in Hong Kong, won the Champions League and FA Cup in 2011-12 season

Goals by Fernando Torres and Josh McEachran saw Chelsea cruise to a comfortable 2-0 win over Aston Villa in the final.

The Blues went on to win their first ever Champions League title the following season, beating Germany's Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties. They also clinched the FA Cup when they overcame a spirited Liverpool side 2-1 at Wembley Stadium.

3) Manchester City - 2013 in Hong Kong, won the Premier League and League Cup in 2013-14 season

In the last edition in 2013, Manchester City overcame Sunderland 1-0 in the final, with a solitary strike from forward Edin Dzeko the difference between both sides.

City then went on to come from behind and win the league title the following year, finishing with 86 points, two points ahead of second-place Liverpool.

The League Cup final saw a rematch of the pre-season finalists, with the Citizens overcoming the Black Cats 3-1 in the final.

Sunderland's Fabio Borini opened the scoring but goals from City's Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas sealed the win for Manuel Pellegrini's men.

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