Sheffield United: Talks underway about friendly game as Portugal trip confirmed

Sheffield United are holding talks with an as yet unnamed Portuguese club about staging a friendly game near Lisbon as part of their pre-season programme.

Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 5:02 pm

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Although the identity of the team in question is not yet known, they are believed to be one of the 18 sides who will compete in the Primeira Liga next term.

However, giants Sporting Lisbon and Benfica aren’t viewed as viable opponents given the fact the planned fixture will take place at the start of United’s training schedule.

Sheffield United are heading to Portugal next month: AP Photo/Armando Franca

As The Star revealed last month, Paul Heckingbottom has devoted a considerable amount of time towards plotting United’s preparations for the new campaign after identifying last summer’s chaotic scenes as a major factor behind their poor start to life under his predecessor Slavisa Jokanovic. Then, the Covid-19 pandemic meant United only took part in two warm-up matches, with one of those coming against amateur and semi-professional players from Gibraltar.

After returning to England, United will face Lincoln City on July 12th in a behind closed doors contest at a neutral venue before travelling to Scunthorpe four days later. (Kick-off 12.30pm).

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

After taking part in another private fixture, Heckingbottom’s men then visit Burton Albion on July 22nd and Barnsley 24 hours later. Those games will begin at 7.30pm and 3pm respectively.

United have used Portugal as a pre-season base on a number of occasions in recent years, with Heckingbottom’s predecessor Chris Wilder twice taking them to the Algarve resort of Vale de Lobo for meetings with Maritimo and Real Betis.