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Benni aims to pass Valencia test

Benoit Assou-Ekotto knows he’s in for a tough pre-season work-out against Valencia.

We take on the team placed third behind Barcelona and Real Madrid in the last three seasons in Spain’s La Liga at 10pm local time (9pm UK) at the Mestalla later tonight.

Full-back Benoit has worked hard in pre-season having required surgery on a shoulder injury he sustained at the end of last season.

He expects that hard work to go up a notch against Valencia.

“It won’t be easy,” said Benoit. “The Spanish teams love to keep the ball and press, so it won’t be easy to keep the ball against them.

“If we don’t have the ball it’s always more difficult to play, so it will be interesting to play against this type of team.

“It will be hard but it will be a good game for us.”

It’s our final friendly before the big Premier League kick-off at Newcastle on August 18.

“It’s a difficult place to play but we all want to win the first game, it’s important to have a good start,” added Benoit.