Preparation time

Dutch Premier League sides Ajax Amsterdam and Utrecht both spent this week in the Algarve preparing for the second half of their domestic season.

A training match between the two clubs was arranged at the Oceânico Amedoeira Sports Club last Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Sunderland turned their backs on snow-bound England and also headed south.

The Black Cats were hoping this week’s stint in the Algarve will have helped them prepare for tomorrow’s (Saturday) demanding game away to Premiership top dogs Chelsea.

Next month Liverpool’s Toni Brito Silva will be part of the Portuguese U-17 national football team taking part in the International Tournament of the Algarve which will take place between February 13 and 16.

That will be the last competitive action before the side attempts to qualify for the European Championships in Liechtenstein.