Chelsea lead field for 2011/12 Asia Trophy

SINGAPORE - Chelsea, Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers will clash with the Hong Kong champions in the four-team Asia Trophy knock-out next year to help prepare for the 2011/12 Premier League season.

The trio of English big guns will play at the Hong Kong Stadium in the only Premier League-affiliated competition to be held outside of England.

The event will take place over two match days on July 27 and 30 with a final to determine the winner and a play-off for third place.

The Asia Trophy has been held every two years since 2003. The last event was staged in Beijing in 2009.

"We are fortunate to have such a fantastic following in Hong Kong and we look forward to reacquainting ourselves with old friends," Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore, said.

"We also hope that our on and off-field knowledge will aid Hong Kong's progress as a football nation. It is now central to the Barclays Asia Trophy that it helps the promotion of the game everywhere it goes. So there will be support in the areas of coaching, refereeing and community development."

Next year will mark English champions Chelsea's second stint at the Asian Trophy, having won the inaugural event on a penalty shootout in Kuala Lumpur.