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Thursday, 14th February 2013
In Japan Sports News, Sports,

Manchester United add Japan dates to Asia tour

Manchester United will travel to Japan as part of their 2013 tour of Asia as they warm-up for next season.

The Red Devils, who are currently on course to win the Premier League title ahead of cross-city rivals Manchester City, have announced four dates so far.

They will play against an A-League All Stars team at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on July 20th before facing the Yokohama F-Marinos at The Nissan Stadium three days later. They will then take on Cerezo Osaka on July 26th at the Osaka Nagai Stadium, before finishing their tour off at the Hong Kong Stadium on July 29th against Kitchee FC.

In recent years United have travelled around the world as they look to take advantage of and build their global brand. With financial fair play rules coming in to play for Premier League clubs, it is now more important than ever to ensure that revenue streams continue to flow, and the thousands of shirt and merchandise sales which accompany the tour will play a small part in this.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side also features Japan international Shinji Kagawa, who signed for the club from Borussia Dortmund in 2012. The Japanese fans are well-known for welcoming their heroes back home, and this trip will give him the opportunity to impress while wearing the famous red shirt of the league leaders.

United will be announcing further international tour fixtures as the countdown to the 2013/14 pre-season continues, with recent trips to South Africa and the US proving popular among the players and supporters.

Sir Alex's squad will be able to benefit from excellent facilities in Japan as they build up their match fitness, while also facing modest opposition in their friendly matches.

The tour is likely to be supported in the main by people already living in Japan, but fans from the UK and elsewhere in the world are encouraged to book tickets to Australia, Japan and Hong Kong to see the Red Devils in action.

Written by Graham McPherson