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International Champions Cup Preview: Everton v Valencia

5 August 2013 18:09

Everton's Steven Naismith hopes Nikica Jelavic can continue his good form against Valencia in the International Champions Cup on Tuesday.

The Croatia international has been named on the bench for the first two games of the tournament, and has scored three times in pre-season so far, including one in the 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid.

And as the two sides go head-to-head for fifth spot in the prestigious competition, in what will be their last game in the USA, Naismith feels that Jelavic can prove to be the difference.

"Throughout pre-season he has looked sharp and he has got a bit of confidence back. I think last season he lost a bit of that through not playing every week," the Scotland international told the club's official website.

Naismith also believes that another good performance from Jelavic can boost the striker's chances of starting in the club's Premier League opener against Norwich City on August 17.

"In training he has looked very sharp as well and maybe the signings that came in have put a bit of pressure on him and he wants to be starting for Everton," he added.

While Everton came close to reaching the final of the tournament, beating Juventus on penalties and then running Real close before eventually going down to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Oezil, Valencia saw their hopes dashed in the first game.

However, after losing to Milan at the Estadio Mestalla, Miroslav Djukic's side bounced back against Inter on Sunday to win 4-0 thanks to a brace from Jonathan Viera and further goals from Ever Banega and Jonas.

Valencia have since officially lost Roberto Soldado to Tottenham, with the Spaniard - who had been at the club since 2010 - completing his move to the Premier League on Monday.

His loss is likely to be keenly felt this season, but after their four-goal win over Inter, Djukic believes that his side have proven their ability to cope without him.

"We have to find a solution and answers for his departure," he said. "With the players that we already have we are doing well.

"The team have already shown that when they play as a team we have people who can score goals."

Djukic's side have one more friendly scheduled following their return from the US, taking on Greek side Olympiacos on August 10 before beginning their La Liga campaign against Malaga a week later.

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Info

0 - 1

Competition
International Champions Cup
Date
7 August 2013
Kick-off
03:00
Full-time
0 - 1

Tuesday 16 September

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Monday 15 September

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Sunday 14 September

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