Sheffield United: Blades stick to tried and tested formula
Sheffield United's preparations for next season's Premier League campaign will begin with a warm weather training camp in Portugal.
Chris Wilder's side, who visited the Algarve last year, are set to face as yet unnamed opponents during their trip to Europe before returning to England for friendlies against the likes of Burton Albion and the manager's former club Northampton Town.
Speaking before details of this summer's schedule were published, Wilder said: "We've got a formula we like to adhere to and, given what the lads have achieved, we're pretty happy that it works.
"They've enjoyed themselves, as they should, after the end of the season. But they're all professionals and so they know they've got to look after themselves and be ready to come back after a well deserved rest."
United face Albion, managed by Wilder's predecessor Nigel Clough, on July 16 before travelling to Sixfields, now known as the PTS Academy Stadium, four days later. Wilder lifted the League Two title with Town before taking charge at Bramall Lane in May 2016 and has since won two more promotions. The second of those was secured last term as United finished second in the Championship.
"Details of the fixture in Portugal and a potential home friendly in early August will be announced when confirmed, as will ticket information for all fixtures," a statement issued by United read.
United's only warm-up match at Bramall Lane is expected to take place after their appearance at Barnsley, on July 27. Four days earlier, Wilder's squad are also scheduled to visit Chesterfield, where his friend John Sheridan is now manager.
"We always consider who we play carefully," Wilder continued. "There's a though process that goes into it, trying to look at different types of challenges and making sure we also tick the boxes we want the lads to tick."
Despite the on-going legal dispute between United's co-owners Kevin McCabe and HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa'ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who both control 50 per cent stakes in the club's parent company, Wilder will hope to have his first new signings in place before his team flies out to Portugal at the beginning of July.
Dean Henderson, who spent last term on loan with United, could be granted permission to miss that trip if he returns to South Yorkshire on a temporary basis and England under-21's reach the final of this summer's European Championships.
The Manchester United goalkeeper is expected to travel with the Young Lions to this summer's tournament in Italy and San Marino, where they face France, Romania and Croatia at the group stage.