After the abandonment of Leeds’ friendly game against German second tier side FC Ingolstadt, which was scheduled to be United’s first game of their Austria tour on Sunday, the club have managed to organise a friendly for this afternoon against Turkish top flight side Bursaspor.
Leeds flew into Austria on Thursday afternoon, with their intention of playing the game against Ingolstadt on the Sunday- however Austrian authorities called the game off 48 hours before kick off as they felt it would be a ‘high risk’ game, with crowd trouble likely. This clearly scuppered Leeds’ plans, but have managed to quickly arrange a replacement match against Bursaspor of the Turkish Super Lig.
The game is due to kick off at 5pm UK time, and will be streamed live through Bursaspor’s YouTube channel. The match is understandably not open to the public, with Leeds and Turkish clubs having serious incidents in the past, meaning the first open match of Leeds’ Austrian tour will still come against Borussia Monchengladbach on Thursday, with this afternoon’s meeting being held at an unknown venue.
Bursaspor finished 15th in the Turkish top flight last campaign, fourth from bottom, winning just 11 games out of 34 and finishing on 38 points. Despite their poor season, the game could arguably be the first real test for Thomas Christiansen and his team with Leeds yet to face a fully professional team so far this pre season- coming up against Harrogate Town, Guiseley and North Ferriby, winning all three.
Caleb Ekuban, Samu Saiz and Ezgjan Alioski are all set to make their Leeds United debuts after signing for the club early last week, with Christiansen expected to give most of the squad at least 45 minutes on the pitch to give every player a chance to prove themselves to the new head coach before the Championship season kicks off away to Bolton in three weeks time.