La Liga side Valencia have announced today that they will play Leeds’ Under-21s side in a behind-closed-doors friendly in Spain this Friday.
The announcement follows on from the club stating that the first team will face another Spanish side, Real Sociedad, in a friendly at Elland Road on 16 December.
Given the small break gifted to the players at the start of the Qatar World Cup, these friendlies will be the ideal opportunity for Leeds head coach Jesse Marsch, as well as Under-21s manager Michael Skubala, to assess the match fitness of their respective sides upon their return to action.
Facing such prestigious opposition in regular European competitors Valencia will undoubtedly prove a stern test for the Whites Under-21s outfit.
It is currently unknown the strength of the side that Skubala will take to Spain, and whether the likes of Mateo Joseph, Crysencio Summerville and Wilfried Gnonto will feature.
Baptism of fire
This will be an incredibly tough match for the Under-21s, and is one which has the potential to get quite ugly as regards the scoreline if the side isn’t careful.
On the reverse side, it also provides Skubala, and by extension Marsch, the chance to see which members of the Under-21s are able to perform against higher-level opposition. If they are able to at least compete against the Spanish giants, then they will cope perfectly fine against the teams they will face in the Premier League 2 in their Under-21s season.
With the likes of Gnonto and more significantly Summerville having seemingly broken into the Whites’ first-team, and players such as Joseph and Sonny Perkins on the verge of so doing, it will be interesting to see the team which Skubala fields for the match on Friday and whether any unexpected standout figures will emerge from it.