We’re only 12 days out from football reappearing in some meaningful form with the Community Shield at Wembley, and less than three weeks away from the full-blooded return of Premier League action to stadiums and screens everywhere.
In the meantime, a selection of the continent’s finest outfit are on show in far-flung places such as Australia, Finland, the United States and Pluto (we’re awaiting confirmation on that last one).
Fresh from their 1-0 victory over Liga MX side Club America in Seattle, courtesy of new signing Morgan Schneiderlin’s strike, Manchester United head south to take on San Jose Earthquakes, while Champions League-winning wonders Barcelona face five-time MLS Cup holders LA Galaxy.
The black and yellow boys and girls at bwin.com have been good enough to price up the California clashes, so we’ve run the rule over pre-seasons past to bring you a double that will payout just shy of 4/1, all going well.
San Jose Earthquakes v Manchester United – Over 3.5 goals @ 31/20
The Red Devils may have made off with the laurels thanks to the minimum against their Mexican opponents, but expect Louis van Gaal’s improving outfit to let loose now they’re taking on the MLS’ finest.
Last summer, United played five pre-season friendlies in the States, beating LA 7-0, Roma 3-2, Real Madrid 3-1 and Liverpool 3-1, with the only anomaly a goalless draw against Inter, who they eventually saw off 5-3 on penalties.
With the likes of Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, Memphis Depay and Schneiderlin set to feature once more, clearing this goal mark shouldn’t be difficult.
Barcelona (-1) to beat LA Galaxy @ 10/11
The 2014/15 treble winners struggled in their early pre-season fixtures last summer, unsurprisingly considering Gerardo Martino had just been binned as boss to make way for club legend Luis Enrique.
However, when Barca got going they really started motoring, putting patchy performances against Recreativo Huelva, Nice and Napoli behind them with 6-0 thumpings of both HJK Helsinki and Leon.
After sweeping up all the important trinkets last term, and with Luis Suarez leading the line in Lionel Messi’s and Neymar’s absences, expect Enrique and co to put down a marker early doors at the StubHub Centre.