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Preview: Rovers Under-23s v Benfica Under-23s

A busy week for Billy Barr's side begins with a Premier League International Cup encounter

25 November 2019

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Rovers Under-23s return to action this evening when we host Benfica's Under-23s at Leyland in the second game of their Premier League International Cup campaign.

It was a frustrating start to the competition for Billy Barr's side, who suffered a 2-0 defeat to Hertha Berlin in the opening game of the tournament earlier this month.

Speaking ahead of the encounter, Barr has challenged his charges to rise to the challenge against a side who are known for bringing through talent.

"Technically they are very good as you would expect, and a little bit older which is another challenge," he said.

“I’ll see what team we put out, but hopefully the players will have had a look at themselves, we’ll have had some honest chats and be a totally different proposition.”

There are no fresh injury concerns for Barr, who witnessed his side suffer a 3-0 defeat to Manchester City in Premier League 2 Division 1 on Friday night.

But the game will come too soon for three key players who are on the road to recovery.

Northern Irish midfielder Brad Lyons had only just returned to light training, whilst the defensive pair of Charley Doyle and Louie Annesley are expected to be out of action for between two to three weeks.

Benfica triumphed over Hertha Berlin in game one of their cup journey at AFC Fylde's Mill Farm, before following that result up with a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United's Under-23s last week.

Rovers follow tonight's game up with one further group stage encounter, which can be seen below:

  • Newcastle United v Rovers
    Northumberland FA, Whitley Park
    Friday December 20th, 2019
    Kick-off 7pm

The format of the competition sees six groups of four clubs, made up of two English teams and two from overseas.

Teams play each other once, with the six group winners and two best-placed runners-up qualifying for the quarter-finals, which will take place in the New Year.

A reminder that kick-off at Leyland's LFA County Ground is at 7pm and we will have full match updates via our social media channels. It is free entry for season ticket holders, otherwise admission is proced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.

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