A clutch of EFL clubs have pre-season games lined up against top flight and European opposition as preparations for the new campaign continue
We’re well into the swing of pre-season, with most Premier League clubs now back in training.
This weekend sees many top flight sides venture out for their first friendly of the summer.
That is despite many of them still without star players due to the Euros and Copa America. Whilst many may turn their nose up at bounce games, they do offer an intriguing look at how a team is gelling – despite clubs still having another month to revamp their squads.
This weekend sees some intriguing pre-season matches take place.
Here, we look at five that involve EFL sides against intriguing opposition.
Sevilla v Coventry
Surely the pick of the bunch?
Coventry jetted out this week to Alicante for a warm weather training camp and the undoubted highlight of the trip is this prestige friendly against the Spanish side.
Only Atletico, Real Madrid and Barcelona finished above them last season and they have a host of star players.
Julen Lopetegui is in charge and Mark Robins will no doubt be looking forward to pitting his wits against the ex-Spain and Real Madrid chief.
Robins said: ““I’m looking for a good workout and the result really doesn’t matter, but the game we will try and play certainly matters.
“We will try and do what we normally do against a top class opposition who have a lot of experience playing in European Championships, let alone La Liga, with top players.”
Kick-off is 6pm Saturday.
Celtic v Preston
Ange Postecoglou gets his first taste of Celtic Park with a friendly against Championship side Preston.
The new Bhoys’ manager welcomes North End on Saturday at 5.30pm for a game that will see Celtic fans return to their home ground for the first time in over a year.
There will only be 2,000 of them, as per capacity limits set by the Scottish government, but it promises to be an exciting test for North End’s players.
Looking ahead to the game, Postecoglou said: “I’m obviously excited about fans in the stadium on Saturday, but I think the whole group is.
“It’ll be a different experience as there will be 2,000 there – but I’m sure they’ll make a lot more noise than that.”
Chelsea v Peterborough
Newly-promoted Championship side Peterborough get to test themselves against the European champions.
They have been granted access to train at Chelsea’s Cobham facility before tomororow’s game, which is being played behind-closed-doors.
This will be the first outing for Thomas Tuchel’s side since their Champions League final win over Manchester City on May 29.
Later in pre-season they face Arsenal and Tottenham as part of a series to raise awareness and funds for Mental Health charity Mind.
Derby v Man United
Wayne Rooney welcomes his old club to Pride Park on Sunday (1pm).
More than 8,000 fans are set to be inside the ground, for the intriguing battle against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
The visitors will be missing a clutch of high-profile stars but should give outings to the likes of Nemanja Matic, Mason Greenwood.