MILK CUP: Tyrone to face Man Utd in Milk Cup Premier opener

County Tyrone will host Manchester United on the opening day of this year’s Milk Cup on Saturday 21 July.

In a new departure this year, the county teams will have home advantage for their games.

Tyrone’s clash with last year’s Premier beaten finalists will take place in Omagh but a precise venue for the game has yet to be finalised.

In the Junior tournament, County Down will host last year’s champions Everton.

Because of the Olympic Games, the competition will have an earlier date than has traditionally been the case.

The competition will kick off on Saturday 21 July with other Premier games including County Armagh welcoming Tottenham, Fermanagh hosting Newcastle and County Londonderry at home to CSKA Moscow.

Other junior fixtures on the opening include County Antrim’s battle with Liverpool, Armagh’s battle clash CSKA Moscow and Tyrone’s tussle with Ipswich.

Northern Ireland’s Elite squad will be up against Chile on day one with the other Elite games seeing Denmark facing USA and Turkey up against Mexico.

Aspire Academy from Qatar beat Manchester United 5-1 in the Premier final in the 2011 Milk Cup

After the first round of games, the action will resume on Monday 23 July with the concluding series of group matches a day later.

“This year we are pleased to again be welcoming the national team from Chile to the Elite competition, Desportivo Brazil in the Premier, along with newcomers Union Temuco, from Chile, in the Junior section,” said tournament chairman Victor Leonard.

Friday’s competition draw was attended by Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill plus his squad members Andrew Little and Corry Evans.

O’Neill played at the Milk Cup for Ballymena and also Coleraine when they reached the Premier final in 1985 but lost to Newcastle United.

Evans lined out for his former club Manchester United as well as Northern Ireland at the tournament, captaining his country to victory over Denmark in the 2009 final.

Little’s goal in the 2008 final against Chile helped Northern Ireland win the Elite title for the first time in 11 years.

It was his sixth consecutive year in the competition after making his debut in 2003 for the County Fermanagh Junior side.

Milk Cup Draw

ELITE SECTION

Saturday, July 21

Northern Ireland v Chile; Denmark v USA; Turkey v Mexico.

Monday, July 23

USA v Turkey; Mexico v Northern Ireland; Chile v Denmark.

PREMIER SECTION

Saturday, July 21

Co. Down v Etoile Lusitana; Benfica v Co. Antrim; Co. Armagh v Tottenham Hotspur; Co. Tyrone v Manchester Utd; Co. Fermanagh v Newcastle Utd; Co. Londonderry v CSKA Moscow; Cherry Orchard v South Coast Strikers; Otago v Bolton Wanderers; Desportivo Brazil v Icnifuna; Revo Express v Pachuca.

Monday, July 23

Tottenham Hotspur v South Coast Strikers; Manchester Utd v Revo Express; Newcastle Utd v Pachuca; Bolton Wanderers v Co. Down; Co. Antrim v Cherry Orchard; Co Tyrone v Co. Armagh; Co. Fermanagh v Otago; Icnifuna v Co. Londonderry; CSKA Moscow v Etoile Lusitana; Desportivo Brazil v Benfica.

Tuesday, July 24

Co. Londonderry v Co. Fermanagh; Co. Down v Revo Express v Pachuca v Co. Antrim; Co. Armagh v Desportivo Brazil; South Coast Strikers v Co. Tyrone; Cherry Orchard v Benfica; Tottenham Hotspur v Otago; Manchester Utd v Icnifuna; Newcastle Utd v CSKA Moscow; Etoile Lusitana v Bolton Wanderers.

JUNIOR SECTION

Saturday, July 21

Co. Antrim v Liverpool; Co Tyrone v Ipswich; Co. Down v Everton; Co. Armagh v CSKA Moscow; Co. Fermanagh v Cruz Azul; Brentford v Co. Londonderry; South Coast Strikers v Swindon Town; Queen of the South v Watford; Union Temuco v North Dublin Schools; Dundalk v Hapoel Haifa.

Monday, July 23

North Dublin Schools v Co. Down; Co. Antrim v Dundalk; Hapoel Haifa v Co. Tyrone; Ipswich Town v Queen of the South; Co. Fermanagh v Swindon Town; Co. Londonderry v South Coast Strikers; CSKA Moscow v Brentford; Cruz Azul v Everton; Liverpool v Union Temuco; Watford v Co. Armagh.

Tuesday, July 24

Co. Londonderry v Co. Fermanagh; Liverpool v Swindon Town; Ipswich Town v Watford; Everton v Brentford; Co. Armagh v Co. Tyrone; North Dublin Schools v Cruz Azul; Dundalk v South Coast Strikers; Co. Down v Queen of the South; Union Temuco v Co. Antrim; Hapoel Haifa v CSKA Moscow.