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Valencia: ICC derby more than a friendly

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Jun 2016

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Antonio Valencia insists the Manchester derby in the pre-season will be more than just a friendly.

United and City will clash at the International Champions Cup in Beijing on July 25 as both teams ramp up preparations for the Premier League season.

While it may be a friendly tournament, Valencia said there was plenty on the line – and Jose Mourinho’s men would be targeting a win.

“No, because it’s a ‘derby’ and everyone wants to win those games for the supporters that are there,” the Ecuador international told the club’s website when asked if it would be a friendly.

The match will mark United’s second of the pre-season, with a meeting against Borussia Dortmund scheduled three days earlier.

Asked what it would be like playing a derby in China, Valencia said: “I don’t know exactly as it’ll be the first time I’ll have experienced it.

“But let’s hope it’s an exciting occasion for everyone over there and they can have a lot of fun watching.”

Valencia is glad to be facing high-quality opposition, with City having finished fourth in the Premier League last season and Dortmund second in the Bundesliga.

“Yes it’s always important to prepare well and get fit and it’s even better when you are up against two sides like those,” he said.

“They are both teams who set very high standards for themselves and so we have to hope that we are up to scratch and demonstrate just exactly how ready and prepared we are to play.”

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