Everton's first pre-season friendly announced

Michael Regan

Toffees off to South East Asia..

Everton will play newly promoted Leicester City in Thailand as part of their preparations for the 2014/15 season.

The match against Nigel Pearson's side will take place in the Supachalasai Stadium in Bangkok on Sunday July 27 with a 6pm kick local time (12pm BST).

It will be the first time Everton have played in Thailand since the summer of 2005 when the competed in the Premier League Asia Trophy along with Bolton, Man City and the Thailand Under23 national team.

Both sides have strong ties to the country, with Everton about to enter into an 11th year with Thai beer company Chang as their shirt sponsor while Leicester are under Thai ownership.

Liverpool Echo reporter Greg O'Keefe confirmed that the friendly is the only long-haul element of Everton's pre-season plans, with the lucrative nature of the game enough to persuade the club to travel all the way out there for just one game.

O'Keefe also confirmed that Everton are trying to arrange friendlies with high-level European opposition in preparation for the Europa League, while the traditional final pre-season game at Goodison will be Leon Osman's testimonial.

Details for all those matches are expected to be revealed soon, with the Premier League fixtures for next season unveiled on Wednesday.

Chief Executive Robert Elstone said:

"We are delighted to be able to take the club back to Thailand and against top quality opposition.

"Leicester showed last year they have the infrastructure and resources to compete at the highest level and we look forward to testing ourselves against them as we get ready for what we hope will be another memorable campaign in both the Premier League and Europe.

"As many of our supporters will know we have strong links with the people of Thailand and we look forward to renewing acquaintances, especially with our friends from Chang as we enter into the first year of a new sponsorship agreement.

"Chang-Everton is a true partnership that has been built on close working relationships and we are hopeful this fixture can go some way to forging even stronger links ."

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