Leeds United face Jong Ajax this afternoon in an impromptu friendly on the same day the senior squads go head to head at the Amsterdam ArenA.
It was announced last month that Leeds would travel to the Netherlands in order to play the Dutch champions in a pre-season fixture.
However, only yesterday did it emerge that a Leeds XI would also be taking part in a pre-season friendly, against Ajax’s U21 side: Jong Ajax.
Jong Ajax play in the Eerste Divisie, Holland’s second tier of professional football, and have notoriously been rather successful in that league despite being unable to gain promotion.
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The team serves as a conveyor belt to the senior squad, with almost all senior Ajax players to have come through the academy, having cut their teeth in the Jong Ajax ranks at some stage.
The friendly is set to take place at De Toekomst, which doubles as a training and playing facility, whilst also housing the club’s famed academy.
Marcelo Bielsa has named a strong XI for the contest, including a throng of first-team players including a returning Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper, Adam Forshaw, Helder Costa, Tyler Roberts and Ian Poveda.
Phillips is yet to partake in any pre-season action for Leeds this summer, as is captain Liam Cooper – but they will both be given run-outs in this afternoon’s first friendly versus Ajax.
Charlie Cresswell and Joe Gelhardt miss out with knocks sustained in previous pre-season friendlies.
Elsewhere in the starting XI, Sam Greenwood starts up front after some fine U23s form last season which has continued into this summer’s pre-season games.
Here is the full XI named by Bielsa this afternoon: Van den Heuvel, Drameh, Cooper, Forshaw, Kenneh, Moore, Costa, Phillips, Roberts, Poveda, Greenwood
Subs: Christy, McCarron, Jenkins, Summerville, Allen, Dean