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More than just a friendly: Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC set to excite fans at the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy

Football fans in Singapore are set for a showdown tonight as Premier League (PL) giants Liverpool and Crystal Palace vie for the inaugural Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy 2022 tonight. Both teams will go head-to-head in an epic contest for victory in a winner-takes-all match at the National Stadium, said organisers TEG Sport and Left Field Live. 

Liverpool fans at the open training session at the Sportshub yesterday evening

The Reds last visited Singapore for an open training session in 2011 and the club from Merseyside is flying high this season. The club has won 19 League titles and currently sits in second place in the PL with 79 points, one point behind leader Manchester City FC. In the UEFA Champions League, the club has also progressed to the semi-finals and will face Villareal in the semi-finals on April 28. Liverpool FC has also booked a spot in the FA Cup finals where they will meet Chelsea FC at Wembley for the title clash on May 14. 

Patrick Vieira led Crystal Palace FC to the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2016 this season. While the Eagles have played in Asia before, the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy 2022 will mark their first time in Singapore. Crystal Palace FC last faced Liverpool FC in Asia five years ago, where they were defeated 2-0 in Hong Kong during a pre-season match in 2017.

Ben Latty, commercial director, Liverpool FC, said: “Pre-season is a vital time of year for our players, it’s hugely important preparation for the season ahead and it’s also a perfect opportunity to meet with our fans around the world.

“We can’t wait to get back to Singapore once again, we’ve received a tremendous welcome there in the past, and are excited to be taking part in the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy 2022. We eagerly await the sound of our fans filling the National Stadium in Singapore as we take on Crystal Palace FC in July, it’s going to be a great finish to our 2022/23 pre-season.”

Nathaniel Clyne signing a fans shirt

Steve Parish, Chairman, Crystal Palace FC, said: “The entire club and team led by Patrick Vieira are thrilled to begin our pre-season tour at the incredible Singapore National Stadium against such high calibre opponents as Liverpool FC. We know Singapore is full of passionate fans who follow the Premier League from afar and we hope to attract many more supporters to Crystal Palace by the end of our trip. We look forward to seeing you all in July alongside our committed and passionate travelling supporters, for what will be an important start to our pre-season programme.”

Standard Chartered is the event’s Title Sponsor and CARRO, Southeast Asia’s largest online auto marketplace, was also announced as the Official Sponsor of the event. TEG Sport and Left Field Live were the team behind the Brazil Global Tour in 2019. The event saw football powerhouse Brazil play two international friendly matches with Senegal and Nigeria in Singapore, where fans got to catch the likes of football stars Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane in action at the National Stadium.

Liverpool fans waiting outside The Ritz-Carlton Singapore for their heroes

Brendon Bainbridge, Managing Director of TEG Asia said: “TEG is proud to bring live sporting action to Singapore once again.  As the organisers of the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy 2022, our priority is to provide an exceptional sporting event in an atmosphere with all the elements that make watching live sport an incredible experience for all fans in attendance. We thank the Singapore Tourism Board for their support, without them this event would simply not have been possible. This will be a huge event for Singapore and we encourage fans to get in early to secure their tickets to be part of what will be an exceptional night of football.”

Yap Chin Siang, Deputy Chief Executive of Singapore Tourism Board said: “We are excited to welcome some of the biggest names in the Premier League and their fans to Singapore for the first-ever Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy 2022. Such high-calibre sporting events are testament to our standing as a leading destination for sports in the region, and a timely addition to our events calendar as more visitors return to Singapore. STB will continue to support innovative and exceptional sports experiences that reinforce Singapore’s position as a vibrant and attractive lifestyle destination.”

Said Aaron Tan, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of CARRO: “CARRO loves the passion, tenacity and determination of football. Through this sponsorship, we want to celebrate diehard fans, players and teams for their determination to win, bar none. It reflects the same spirit we take towards providing our customers with nothing but a winning drive.”

The teams arrived in Singapore on 12th July (Crystal Palace) and 13th July (Liverpool). Both teams held football clinics, with Crystal Palace FC holding it at Assumption English School on 13th July, holding a short football session with kids from the School Football Academy and giving away signed Crystal Palace FC merchandise. On the same day, LFC legends graced the Official Liverpool Supporters Club Fan Event at Vivocity.

On 14th July, Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC conducted a football clinic at Eden Hall, at the British High Commission, with 30 local children.

Both teams also had their pre-match press conference at the National Stadium with Patrick Viera and Luka Milivojević representing Crystal Palace FC, and Jürgen Klopp and Andy Robertson representing Liverpool FC.

Said Patrick Vieira, Manager of Crystal Palace FC: “Obviously as a manager, the best preparation will be to have all the players around. We are happy to be here to play against Liverpool tomorrow. This is part of the process that we needed to go through. We needed to leave some players behind. Some of them need to catch up with the training. Some of them need to stay at home to play football matches. We’ve brought some young players and I think for them that will be a really good experience. Some of them are traveling this far for the first time, how they’re going to deal with time difference, the flights – those kinds of experience will help us learn a lot about them, and about how they deal with the kinds of changes that we will face in the next couple of days.”

“There is no easy game against Liverpool. We’re facing a team that will be there at the top to challenge for the title and will have the ability to challenge for winning the Champions League. This is a preparation that will give us and give me as a manager a really good idea about where we are. And I think this is a really good game progression for us. And of course we know how difficult and challenging that game will be. But we are in preparation and we will learn a lot tomorrow about where we are and which part of the game that we need to focus on because the objective and the main focus for us is to be ready for the first game of the season.”

Said Andy Robertson of Liverpool FC: “You play for a big club and when you come to countries like Singapore, it’s just a reminder of how big the club actually is. The fans are so welcoming of you and you’re their heroes, and they’re waiting outside the hotel, coming to the stadium, everywhere you go they just want a glimpse of you. We appreciate that massively and the fans all around the world are so important to us, not just the ones in Anfield every single week. So it’s important that we give back to the fans through small things like open training today, playing matches on the other side of the world, it’s nice to give back because the support’s always appreciated and they sometimes get up at early hours to watch our games; we thank them for that. It’s incredible, the support that we’ve received. It’s been special and it’s been really nice to see, and we don’t take it for granted.”

Said Jürgen Klopp: “These trips are really a wonderful thing. You have to fly 14 to 15 hours and you train at completely different times in the humidity, but we are used to it. The best thing about it as we come closer to our fan base. For our fan base in Asia especially, we know how big it is and we know how important it is to come and we love doing it. From a training point of view, first and foremost I’m a coach and it’s not my favourite thing to do because if we can go two weeks to Austria and train twice a day that would be better. Here, we have appearances and these are very important. A preseason for us, for a coach, is to create situations which we hopefully don’t face during the year. Tougher situations, like training in the middle of the night pretty much when your body’s not ready, training in extreme heat. We will not face that in England but it helps us anyway, so from the sports point of view it’s really helpful as well. But the most important thing is to come here and that people see us, not only on television, but live as well.”

Jürgen Klopp keeping a close eye on his charges during an open training session this evening at the Sportshub

Finally, in the evening, just over 10,000 LFC fans were treated to a glimpse of what the team had to offer at their official training session in the National Stadium, with a lucky few even able to interact with their idols.

Patrick Lee, Cluster CEO, Singapore and ASEAN Markets (Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and representative offices), Standard Chartered said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Liverpool FC to Singapore as part of its pre-season in Asia. As the main club sponsor of Liverpool FC and title sponsor of this game, we’re looking forward to working with LFC and our partners in creating exciting ‘money-can’t-buy’ unique experiences possible for football fans, our clients and the community as live sporting events return to Singapore.”

Photo Credit: Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy  2022

The Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy 2022 match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC kicks off on 15th July at 8.35pm, at the National Stadium. Tickets available here

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