Pre-season Manchester derby will not be friendly, Valencia warns

Antonio Valencia

The Ecuadorian is eyeing up derby success for United, who take on City in Beijing in a pre-season fixture next month.

Soccer: 2016 Copa America Centenario-Ecuador  at HaitiAntonio Valencia is raring to go after Ecuador's Copa America campaign

Manchester United ace Antonio Valencia has told the club's official website that he is relishing the prospect of gaining an early advantage over bitter rivals Manchester City, by beating them in a pre-season fixture in Beijing this summer.

United face City on July 25 as part of their pre-season tour of China, and Valencia insists his team will not simply treat the game as another meaningless friendly.

Manchester City's David Silva in action with Manchester United's Matteo DarmianManchester City and Manchester United are set to do battle in Beijing

Valencia, who has just returned from Copa America duty with Ecuador, told the club's official website: "It means an awful lot to the players. We really put our heart and soul into those games.

"Before the match you just can't wait to get underway so you can show how much you want to win and perform well and try to make the fans happy."

Manchester United's Antonio Valencia in action with Norwich's Martin OlssonAntonio Valencia is eyeing an early advantage over Manchester City

The pre-season schedule is clearly very important to Valencia, who added that he cannot wait to spend time with his teammates and cast an eye over some of the youngsters that may well be knocking on the door for a place in the first team under new boss Jose Mourinho.

He added: "I enjoy going away with my team-mates and also the younger kids who are in the process of moving up through the ranks to the first-team squad.

Pep Guardiola and Jose MourinhoPep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho will rekindle their intense rivalry next season

"It’s a great thing to experience as everyone strives to train hard and prepare to get in the best possible shape because the season is very long."

The intrigue surrounding next month's game is likely to be heightened by the fact that it will also be the first clash between Mourinho and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola since the pair were at Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

A win in the Far East would certainly go some way to giving United an early advantage ahead of the new Premier League season, having lost just once to their city rivals in their last four games.

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