Leeds United: Whites to face Athletic Bilbao on pre-season tour of Austria

Uwe Rosler.

Uwe Rosler.

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Leeds United will clash with Spanish side Athletic Bilbao during a pre-season tour of Austria, the club revealed today.

The match on July 21 is one of two friendlies announced by United with Uwe Rosler’s squad due to play German outfit Hoffenheim in Norway on July 25.

Rosler, who was named as Leeds’ new head coach last week, is taking his squad to Austria for a week-long training camp between July 18 and July 24.

United’s players will then fly on to Norway to meet Bundesliga team Hoffenheim in Lillestrom ground the following day.

Rosler told www.leedsunited.com: “We decided it was in the best interests of our club, and for the quality of teams that we can meet, to go to Austria where we will find very good conditions to train.

“I don’t like to go into the heat. I like to go into a moderate climate, very similar to the UK where you can really put a shift in, in terms of laying the foundations for the season.”

Rosler revealed that former Leeds defender Gunnar Halle – recently linked with a coaching job at Elland Road – had helped to organise the game against Hoffenheim, a side who finished this season in the top half of the Bundesliga.

Bilbao ranked seventh in La Liga and play Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final this weekend.

Rosler said: “It’ll be a good trip against two top teams. I didn’t want another game because I think we have to put a lot of things on the training pitch.

“I’ll spend a lot of time with the players on and off the training pitch to lay the foundations technically and tactically. Not having too many games allows us to do a lot of groundwork for what is needed in the season.”

Leeds will announce further friendlies shortly and the YEP understands that the club have been considering the option of playing Everton at Elland Road in August.