Sheffield United head to France for final Premier League warm-up

SHEFFIELD UNITED'S preparations for their Premier League return after 12 years away will climax with a friendly against Stade de Reims.

Sheffield United fans will have another chance to watch their side on foreign soil after the recent trip to the Algarve, where around 400 took the chance to watch an opening training session the day before Chris Wilder's side tackled Real Betis

The Blades, who hope to confirm the signings of Ben Osborn and Dean Henderson later today, will head across the Channel on Saturday August 3.

United had been hoping to play a home friendly on the final weekend before the top flight campaign gets under way but on-going building work to bring Bramall Lane up to speed proved a barrier.

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So, Chris Wilder's team will travel to France for a fixture that will kick-off at 5.30pm CET. It will be the second meeting with continental opposition of pre-season, the Blades having beaten Real Betis 1-0 earlier this month.

That came at the end of the squad's week long stay in Portugal for a pre-season training camp that saw supporters invited to attend one day's session and meet the players.

"We would have preferred a home friendly to finish off," said Wilder, whose side head to Barnsley this weekend for a friendly clash. "But that is not possible so we are travelling to France for a very competitive fixture against a good team.

"It will give us another opportunity to test ourselves against top flight European opposition."

Reims, located north of Paris, play their home games at Stade Auguste-Delaune, which is located towards the south-west of the city centre. The club finished eighth in Ligue 1 last season, beating champions Paris St Germain in May.