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Guide to China – Wolves' pre-season venues

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

For the first time in the club's 142-year history Wolves are heading to China.

Wolves are heading to China in July

Nuno Espirito Santo's team will take part in the Premier League Asia Trophy in July.

We've taken a look at the two cities and stadiums they'll be playing in.

Nanjing – The Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre

The Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre
Inside the stadium

Wolves' semi-final match will be against either Manchester City, Newcastle United or West Ham United in the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre, near China's east coast

In terms of population Nanjing is the 14th biggest city in China with eight million residents.

It's recognised as one of the four historical capitals of China, along with Beijing, Luoyang and Xi An.

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Nanjing is the capital city if Jiangsu province, since the establishment of the People's Republic of China, and is known for its historical landscapes, waters and mountains including the Purple Mountain, named for its mysterious purple and golden clouds which envelope its peaks at dawn and dusk.

Nanjing is also home to one of the world's largest inland ports.

The city hosted the 2014 Olympic Youth Games, catering for 3,579 athletes from 203 nations, with many events and the opening and closing ceremonies hosted at the Olympic Sports Centre, where Wolves will play.

The state-of-the-art stadium opened in 2005 and has a capacity of 61,443 seats.

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The complex also includes a 4,000-seat aquatic centre and 4,000-seat tennis arena.

Football-wise, Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning play at the stadium. Their star players include ex-Chelsea midfielder Ramires (£25m) and fellow Brazilian Alex Teixeira (£37m).

Shanghai – Hongkou Football Stadium

The Hongkou Stadim in Shanghai

Interior view of the stadium

Three days after the semi-final Wolves will travel 200 miles east to Shanghai, the largest city in China with a population of 24 million.

China's richest city and commercial capital, Shanghai is the epitome of Chinese modernisation and industry, with its soaring skyscrapers, bustling financial district and the world's biggest port.

Tourist attractions include famous waterfront area The Bund, the historic City Temple and the five-acre Yu Garden.

Shanghai skyline at night

In terms of sport, the city has expanded its global profile in recent years with the annual Chinese Grand Prix and Shanghai Masters in tennis.

The Hongkou Football Stadium, which hosted the final of the 2007 Women's World Cup, is the oldest football stadium in China, rebuilt in 1999 with a capacity of 33,060.

Unlike many of China's major sports stadiums, Hongkou is designed specifically for football and based next to Lu Xun Park in the Hongkou district in the north of Shanghai.

In the Chinese Super League the stadium is home to Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, winners of the 2017 Chinese FA Cup.

They are managed by ex-Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores and players include Colombian internationals Giovanni Moreno and Fredy Guarin as well as Nigerian international striker Odion Ighalo, who was managed by Flores at Watford.

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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