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Former Blues striker Francis Jeffers reckons Wednesday’s friendly against Accrington Stanley is the perfect test for Everton at this stage of pre-season.

The much travelled 32-year-old finished last season with a short spell at the Lancashire Club, scoring two goals in seven appearances before leaving this summer.

Accrington returned to pre-season training two weeks earlier than Everton and Jeffers, who scored a total of 22 goals in two different spells at Goodison, says the 90-minute outing at the Store First Stadium will be a good gauge of the players’ fitness levels.

“The Accrington lads are good players and they’ll be up for it,” Jeffers told evertontv. “They’ll be playing against lads they’ve never had a chance to play against before.

“They’ll also play in front of a crowd at the Crown Ground that’s never been, because you know what the Blues are like - we’ll take as many fans as we can.

“It will be a good experience all round for the young boys who are there and they’ll be fired up.

“On a football side, Accrington will be okay. We finished the season really strongly. We went from being bottom of the league with two months to go to finishing fifth or sixth from the bottom, which was a massive, massive achievement.

“Hopefully the lads will carry that into next season. They have been back a couple of weeks longer than the Everton lads, so it will be a tough test."

According to Jeffers, League Two outfit Accrington possess a hardworking, talented team, with a few former Premier League players thrown into the mix too.

“They’ve just got young, fit lads right throughout the team,” he said.

“Then there’s players like Nicky Hunt, who’s had a good career in the Premier League. Ian Dunbavin has been there for a long time in goal, he played for Liverpool as a young lad, and Laurence Wilson who was a young pro at Everton.

“I think Beatts [James Beattie] is trying to build a young side, an energetic side and they’ll be a tough test for Everton at this stage of their preparations."

Watch Everton take on Accrington Stanley exclusively live on evertontv. Click here to purchase the game individually or as part of our pre-season package.

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