The China Cup: Who’s in it? What is it? When is it? And why?
Wales enter a new era this week, as Ryan Giggs prepares for his first game in charge.
And they’ll start it in the Far East, as one of the four teams making up the China Cup.
Giggs and Wales are taking the tournament seriously, with a strong squad including Gareth Bale making the 6,000 mile trip.
But what is the China Cup? Ladbrokes News have all the answers…
What is it?
First held last year, the China Cup sees three sides join the host nation for a mid-season contest in Nanning in the south of China.
Teams will play a semi-final each. The winners will meet in the final and the losers will play in a third-place play-off. All games will take place in the Guangxi Sports Centre in Nanning.
Who is in it?
Wales will be joining Uruguay and the Czech Republic. Last season’s competitors were Chile, Iceland and Croatia.
When is it?
Held in January last year, the event has been shifted to 2018 to tie-in with the wider international break.
Wales will play China on the 22nd or March, before the second semi-final sees Uruguay take on the Czech Republic on the 23rd.
Both the final and the third place contest take place on Monday the 26th.
The primary reason for this event is that China are still trying to raise their global football profile.
The buzz around the Chinese Super League has levelled off, so now they’re focusing their attention on the international scene.
For Wales, it gives new boss Ryan Giggs the perfect chance to settle in to his new role against useful opposition.
Uruguay are the only side who will be playing in the summer’s World Cup.
Playing at least one of the Czech Republic and possibly Wales will put them in good stead, while adapting to China’s time zone could be a minor yet vital piece of preparation before they get to Russia.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing