Brentford B will round off their week’s stay in Portugal when they take on FC Astana at the Estadio Da Nora in a 12pm kick-off.
The young Bees have already taken on FC Seoul, drawing 3-3, and beaten local side FC Ferreiras 3-0, and the match looks to be a real test for Neil MacFarlane’s young side.
FC Astana, from Kazakhstan, play in the Kazakhstan Premier League which is the highest level in their country. Their stadium, the Astana Arena, boasts a capacity of 30,254 seats and the club was founded in 2009 originally named Lokomotiv Astana.
Recent seasons have seen the club compete in the UEFA Champions League, and this season they competed in the UEFA Europa League where they were drawn with the likes of Manchester United, AZ Alkmaar and Partizan Belgrade. They were unable to qualify for the knockout stages but picked up one of the more eye-catching results in the group phase as they beat Manchester United 2-1 at home.
Up until recently the club had been under the stewardship of Roman Hryhorchuk, but he departed on 14 January and Englishman Paul Ashworth took on the role as technical director of the club whilst Czech manager Michal Bílek took the managerial role.
Michal played for the likes of Sparta Prague and Real Betis before managing Sparta Prague and then the Czech national team. The club have travelled to Portugal for a training camp and to play a number of fixtures in the Algarve.
Brentford B will have a slightly smaller squad to choose from when they take on Astana as the likes of Fredrik Hammar, Luka Racic and Dru Yearwood, who all featured against FC Seoul last Sunday, have all returned to England early to make themselves available for first team action in The Emirates FA Cup against Leicester City.
Simon Andersson has now joined up with the young Bees though, and the Brentford B coaching staff could well make changes to the side that finished off the match with FC Ferreiras on Wednesday.
Discussing the match with Astana, Brentford B Coach Sam Saunders said: “It will be very tough, possibly the toughest fixture we’ve had this season, and we’ve had some really tough games. That’s why we took a couple of the boys off early (v FC Ferreiras) to make sure that they are ready for that. It’s going to be a very good game and hopefully it will finish off what’s been a very good tour well.”
The fixture kicks off 45 minutes before the first team’s match with Leicester City in The Emirates FA Cup, therefore there will not be live match updates on Twitter or Facebook. There will, however, be a live stream of the game available on the club’s YouTube channel as so supporters can tune in. There will be a full report on the game available on Saturday evening and post-match reaction will follow in the coming days.