Match: Leeds United v SD Eibar
Date : Sunday, 23 July 2017
Time: 16.00 BST
Venue: Jenbach Stadium, Jenbach, Austria
Streaming: Free Streaming for LUTV subscribers. Well, that’s the plan anyway.
So after the disaster of the first preseason match streaming, Leeds United will do it all again this Sunday as the team takes on its final match in Austria, taking on La Liga side SD Eibar.
Most Leeds fans will know Eibar not because of the history of the club or of the town in the Basque region that the team is from, but instead because of the tug-of-war between the Spanish team and Leeds United over the transfer of Samuel Saiz during the current summer transfer window. For those Leeds fans who have been living under a rock, star signing Samuel Saiz came to Leeds from CD Huesca, a Segunda División club that just missed out on promotion and Saiz had been strongly linked with a move to Eibar until Leeds entered into the transfer talks at the last minute and hijacked the transfer of the player.
Eibar has links to the UK, as their supporters group is called Ezkozia La Brava, or “Scotland the Brave” and have adopted the Glasgow giants Celtic FC as their Scottish favorites. The team hosted their adopted Scottish team for a friendly in July of 2015, but lost 4-1.
As an Eibar fan I can tell you he has been one of the best defenders of La Liga. As an Eibar fan I'm sad but as a Newcastle fan I'm happy— Hurtado de Hacendado (@markolsa100) July 4, 2017
SD Eibar was promoted to La Liga for the first time in their long history for the 2014-15 season after back-to-back promotions from the Segunda Division B to the Segunda Division and then to La Liga. In addition to missing out on Samu Saiz, the Basque area club lost their best central defender to Newcastle, as Florian Lejeune left for the Premier League club this summer.
Eibar were spared relegation back to the Segunda Division in 2015, despite placing 18th and in the relegation places, because Elche CF were relegated because of financial problems. Spared the fate of being just a tourist in the top division, Eibar responded by finishing 14th the next season, the 2015-16 season, and then finished in 10th place and reached the quarterfinals of the Copa Del Rey last year.
This will be a good test for the Whites as they take on a La Liga team on neutral ground. Despite Eibar being one of the smallest clubs in La Liga, with a stadium that only holds 7,000 people, the team placed higher than much “bigger” clubs last season. It remains to be seen if they can retain their place up with the big boys, or if they fall down the league table after being a nice story for a few seasons. Hopefully Leeds can continue their momentum from the best showing of the preseason earlier this week against Borussia Mönchengladbach to this final match in Austria.