Albion have welcomed a range of opposition, usually from overseas, in the big dress rehearsal friendlies down the years.

It is some time now since Ipswich, Reading and Charlton were welcomed to Withdean from higher divisions as prestigious adversaries.

They are still friendlies but these final pre-season fixtures – or the penultimate in one or two cases – have sometimes been great guides for what lay ahead.

It’s not the real thing but it is as close as you will get with no points at stake.

Espanyol provide the final test of this pre-season today.

Here we look back at those dress rehearsals from the Amex era – and the one just before that.

2010: Albion 1, Aberdeen 0

The final friendly at Withdean and the last outing before what turned into an historic title-winning season in League One. It felt like Albion were on the right lines and this impressive display against SPL visitors under-lined that. Elliott Bennett’s super strike was a taste of things to come and Jamie Smith’s display in the No.10 role confirmed him as a starter in the opening weeks.

2011: Albion 2, Tottenham 3

The grand opening of the Amex and, again, a good indicator as Albion showed a lot of promise with plenty of room for excitement, encouragement and improvement. That probably summed up their first season back in the Championship in their new surroundings. Gareth Bale was among the players who shone for Spurs but Harry Kane was an unused sub.

2012: Albion 3, Chelsea 1

Not actually the last friendly that summer but the most memorable as that year’s Champions League winners made what was quite a hastily-arranged visit. One of two games which perhaps stand out as the best friendlies at the stadium (see also 2017) but bitter-sweet in a way. Goals by Ashley Barnes, the brilliant Vicente and the returning Andrew Crofts gave a feel for what turned into a hugely enjoyable season. But, looking back, maybe there is frustration that the campaign did not end in automatic promotion and that we rarely saw Vicente play like this during the long league season.

2013: Albion 1, Villarreal 3

There was also a 1-1 draw with Norwich in which Solly March scored a cracker which we referred back to earlier this week. Reasonable games but nothing like the heights of the previous year – which was a good indication of what was to come.

2014: Albion 1, Southampton 3

Two teams in ugly away kits which clashed horribly played out a one-sided match which introduced some hitherto little-known Saints names, such as Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle, featured a fine goal from James Ward-Prowse and suggested Albion under Sami Hyypia would not dazzle in bright orange (or any other colour). Worrying.

2015: Albion 1, Sevilla 0

New boy Tomer Hemed showed us his slow-motion spot-kick skills after what was a joke of decision to award the penalty. This performance against the previous season’s Europa League winners offered renewed hope for what turned into a season of huge progress.

2016: Albion 0, Lazio 1

In the absence of perennial goal-getter Ciro Immobile, Ravel Morrison volleyed Lazio’s winner. But this was promising again for almost 9,000 fans and a first sight of Bruno at centre-back, a position he filled ably in the early fixtures of that promotion-winning season until Shane Duffy arrived from Blackburn.

2017: Albion 2, Atletico Madrid 3

Six days before hosting Pep Guardiola’s Man City, the Prem new boys came up against LaLiga opponents and fared well. Okay, it was the Yannick Carrasco show for 45 minutes but scoring twice against a Diego Simeone defence was a coup and a full house remained in great heart in that summer of promotion euphoria. That Atleti side, by the way? Fernando Torres and Antoine Griezmann up front, Jan Oblak in goal, Juanfran and Godin (as sub) at the back and lots of well-drilled quality in between.

2018: Albion 2, Nantes 1

Tomer Hemed (set up by Bruno and Anthony Knockaert) and Pascal Gross scored in one of the less memorable final friendlies, although Albion looked solid going into the second Prem season and maintained their good record against Portuguese managers, which was handy ahead of Jose Mourinho’s impending visit with Manchester United. Yves Bissouma played at the Amex for the first time, as sub. Valentin Rongier (now of Marseille) scored for Nantes and there was an early effort on to the post by Emiliano Sala, a player we would hear about in tragic circumstances just a few months later.

2019: Albion 2, Valencia 1

Glenn Murray (penalty) and Shane Duffy (header) were old school sources of goals for new boss Graham Potter. Perhaps more of a guide to what lay ahead was the standing ovation given to new arrival Leandro Trossard by the 15,000 present when he went off. This was officially Bruno’s farewell match against his former employers, which was a nice touch, although it is probably fare to say today's  opponents mean more to him than Valencia.

2020: Albion 1, Chelsea 1

A landmark in its own way – but also a false dawn. Albion were good on the pitch and deserved Pascal Gross’s late penalty equaliser although Chelsea soon returned for the first league game and won 3-1. Off it, the Seagulls led the way in allowing in 2,500 fans after lockdown. It felt like a huge step in the right direction but, as it turned out, normality was a lot further away than we hoped and thought that day.

2021: Albion 0, Getafe 2

Big plans for something more headline-grabbing to mark ten years at the Amex were shelved due to Covid-related factors. But, if you are going to Burnley a week later, a game with Getafe is as good a prep as you are going to get against a team from Spain. Getafe were clinical and pretty rugged, Albion were okay and it all got heated at the end – but the Seagulls won at Turf Moor as part of a flying start.