Arnau Puigmal and Aliou Traore.

Under-23s plan Portuguese training camp

Manchester United's Under-23s will travel to the Algarve next month, ahead of a prestigious friendly with Benfica.

The young Reds will spend time on the continent for a mid-season training camp and face Benfica at the Caxia Futebol Campus on Monday 10 February.

It should be an opportunity to recharge the batteries during a week's worth of hard work in preparation for the remainder of the campaign.

The stay should provide opportunity for intensive training, team bonding and fresh experience in a different setting.

Video
D'Mani Mellor in action against Newcastle.
See how the Under-23s defeated Newcastle in Premier League 2.

“We’re going to Portugal at the start of February for some warm-weather training,” lead coach Neil Wood told us. “It’s a chance to reboot and go over some of the work we did in pre-season and kind of take it to the run-in up until May. We’ll just refocus really and there is a probability some of the young lads will come up with us, some of the lads who will move up next season, as it will give us a good chance to work with them.

“It’s something we’ve not really done at this level much in the past. We went to Scotland last year but this time it’s something we feel is right for them. We’re doing it properly, it’s not just holiday time and relaxation. It will be a working training camp and we’ll play a game out there against Benfica as well.”

Later next month, Wood's side will also take on their Club Brugge counterparts at FC Heist's stadium on Thursday 20 February. The game will form part of the trip that includes the Europa League tie against the Belgian league leaders for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men in the evening.

On home turf, Chelsea provide the opposition for a friendly at Leigh Sports Village on Friday 6 March, with a 19:00 GMT kick-off.

There is also a slight alteration to our next Premier League 2 game. The clash with Norwich City on Friday will now be staged at Carrow Road, with a 19:00 GMT start. The game is being shown live on MUTV.

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