Athletic Club Working To Schedule An August Friendly Against Celtic Or Porto
It may feel like the season just ended, but preseason training is just around the corner. Athletic Club players will report back to Lezama on 9 July, which means they have less than a month of vacation left until the work begins again. As things stand right now, new manager Eduardo Berizzo will have 33 players in his summer sessions and will be assessing the entire squad in order to put together the best team for the upcoming campaign. With training getting closer every day, friendly matches are now in the process of being scheduled.
So far just one fixture has been announced. Athletic will be playing against MSV Duisburg on 28 July in what is being called the Schauinsland-Reisen Cup of Traditions. Two other clubs will take part in the competition with Fulham already revealed. Sources claim that Athletic plan to play between 7-9 friendly matches this summer, and a very big one is now in the works.
According to a report from Juanma Velasco of Marca, Athletic are currently working on setting up a friendly match against Celtic or Porto at the beginning of August. All three clubs use New Balance as their kit providers which is another reason for the match to take place. Last summer the Lions played against Liverpool, who also sport New Balance, and that trend seems to be continuing. The goal is to play the friendly during the week before the start of the regular season, so schedules will have to be taken into account. At this time there is no word on where the game would potentially take place.
Either opponent would be an exciting friendly for Athletic Club and fans. Porto are a staple in European competitions and would give the Lions a strong test before the start of the La Liga season. That match would also see Kepa Arrizabalaga face off with Iker Casillas which would be an interesting storyline. At the same time, Athletic and Celtic have always had a close connection and fans of both clubs have built wonderful relationships over the years. Eduardo Berizzo is looking to get the Basques back on the winning track this season and scheduling quality opponents like Porto and Celtic for summer friendlies is definitely a step in the right direction.