Sheffield United are back in the Premier League for the 2023/24 season, making their pre-season plans in 2023 crucial. Blades manager Paul Heckingbottom will want to oversee a strong summer at Bramall Lane.

The South Yorkshire side are heading back to the top-flight after two seasons away as the Championship runners-up. Heckingbottom led Sheffield United to a second-place finish in 2022/23 with 91 points from 46 games with 28 wins. The Bramall Lane club missed out on the second-tier title to Burnley by 10 points.

Heckingbottom will now take his second pre-season in charge of Sheffield United’s first-team squad. The Blades promoted the coach from his role in Sheffield United’s academy to replace Slavisa Jokanovic in November 2021. So, here is everything you need to know about Sheffield United’s pre-season plans…

Manchester City v Sheffield United: Emirates FA Cup Semi Final
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When does Sheffield United’s pre-season start?

Heckingbottom told his Sheffield United players to report back to the club’s Shirecliffe training ground on July 3 to begin pre-season in 2023. Head of performance Tom Little helped to structure their return dates.

Sheffield United’s fixture list for their 2023 pre-season

As of July 11, Sheffield United have confirmed that their pre-season plans in 2023 will boast six friendlies. The Blades delayed finalising their schedule until the club knew what league they will be playing in during the 2023/24 season. Heckingbottom did not secure their promotion back into the top-flight until April 23.

Sheffield United will begin their pre-season in 2023 with a short trip to Derbyshire to face National League side Chesterfield. The Spireites narrowly missed out on promotion into the Football League in 22/23. They lost 4-3 on penalties to Notts County in the National League play-off final after ending the season in third.

Heckingbottom will then take his players to Portugal for a warm-weather training camp and a friendly. The Blades will return to England after facing Estoril for games against Rotherham United and Derby County in two further domestic ties. While Sheffield United will hold several as-yet-named behind-closed-door ties.

One of Sheffield United’s behind-closed-doors friendlies will occur in between the Blades’ friendlies with Rotherham and Derby after inviting Girona to join their pre-season plans in 2023. The La Liga outfit head to England to meet the Bramall Lane outfit in Manchester. The Blanquivermells finished 10th in 2022/23.

VfB Stuttgart will also visit Bramall Lane in early August with Sheffield United hosting the Bundesliga team for their final pre-season friendly in 2023. The Blades have invited Die Roten to make a trip from Germany just a week before the new Premier League season. Crystal Palace will kick off the season at Bramall Lane.

Who did Sheffield United play during their 2022 pre-season?

Sheffield United v Everton - FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup
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Sheffield United kicked off their pre-season schedule during 2022 in Portugal at a warm-weather training camp under Heckingbottom. The Blades regrouped and headed to Lisbon in early July, where they played Casa Pia in a friendly. Goals by Sander Berge and Daniel Jebbison handed the Blades a 2-1 win on July 8.

Heckingbottom’s squad then returned to England to continue their pre-season as Sheffield United hosted Lincoln City. The Blades hosted the Imps at their training ground for two 60-minute matches. Their games were held behind closed doors but Sheffield United streamed both of the fixtures via their SUTV channel.

A private double-header with Lincoln City would be Sheffield United’s only pre-season friendlies on home soil in 2022. The Blades spent the rest of the summer on the road as Heckingbottom built a team capable of winning promotion. He will hope his work in 2023 is good enough to retain their Premier League place.

How to watch Sheffield United’s 2023 pre-season fixtures

Sheffield United v Sunderland - Barclays FA Women's Championship
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Sheffield United confirmed on July 13 that fans in the UK and Ireland can watch the Blades’ six pre-season friendlies in 2023 exclusively via SUTV. A pre-season pass for the Bramall Lane club’s in-house feed costs £30. It is not included in a regular SUTV pass or the pass included in Blades+ club membership packages.

Alternatively, fans around the world can watch Sheffield United’s pre-season friendly with Chesterfield via SUTV individually for £6. Access to the stream via the SUTV Live page opens 10 minutes before kick-off.

Tickets for Sheffield United’s summer schedule

Sheffield United have now started to confirm details regarding tickets for their 2023 pre-season friendlies. The Blades will announce further details in due course, so keep checking back to this page for all updates.

Tickets for Sheffield United’s trip to Chesterfield will go on sale over a staggered release based on official club members’ loyalty points. Blades season ticket holders can also purchase tickets for the fixture. While any fan buying a ticket for the fixture, with it limited to one ticket per supporter, will get 50 loyalty points.

Additionally, Sheffield United fans wanting to buy tickets for their pre-season friendly with Derby County must hold the necessary loyalty points. But loyalty points are not needed to buy tickets for the Blades’ trip to Rotherham United or Estoril or their home game with VfB Stuttgart, which also gives 100 loyalty points.

On-sale dates for Sheffield United’s pre-season tickets: