Premier League: Brighton and Hove Albion rope in Nantes as replacement for cancelled friendly against Sporting Lisbon
Sporting Lisbon's internal troubles resulted in the cancellation of a friendly against Brighton and Hove Albion. the English club managed to get Ligue 1 side Nantes to play against them on the same day, avoiding ticket refunds.
London: Brighton and Hove Albion expect "as tough a test if not tougher" from Nantes after announcing the French club had stepped in to replace Sporting Lisbon as their final pre-season opponents.
South coast club Brighton were preparing to welcome Portuguese giants Sporting to the Amex Stadium on 3 August ahead of the new English Premier League campaign. Sporting, however, have been engulfed in turmoil recently and last month they sacked coach Sinisa Mihajlovic after just nine days in charge following his appointment by former club president Bruno de Carvalho.
They've now told Brighton they wish to play at home on the first weekend of August. But, fortunately for the Seagulls they will face French top-tier side Nantes instead, with Seagulls fans who've already purchased tickets for the 3 August fixture able to use them for the visit of the Ligue 1 side.
"Firstly, we are extremely grateful to FC Nantes for coming over to play us at such short notice," said Brighton manager Chris Hughton, adding, "it was important for us to have top-level opponents in our final warm-up match ahead of the new season, and we are delighted FC Nantes have stepped in to play the match in two weeks' time."
"They'll represent just as tough a test, if not tougher, and from a footballing point of view the change of opponents will not affect our preparations for the new season," said Hughton.
The 24-year-old England international sustained an ACL injury on Tuesday in Chelsea's 4-0 victory over Juventus in a Champions League game at Stamford Bridge.
Spurs have counted the cost of the coronavirus pandemic more than most as it struck shortly after the club opened a new 63,000 capacity stadium at a cost of £1.2 billion.
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