League One meets Ligue 1 as Stanley will host French giants Marseille in their second pre-season friendly.

Owner Andy Holt has secured the glamour friendly which will take place on Thursday, July 11 (6pm).

Because of pitch improvement works at the Wham Stadium, the game is to be held at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.

Marseille, who finished fifth in Ligue 1 last season, are managed by former Chelsea boss André Villas-Boas after he replaced Rudi Garcia at the end of May.

Holt has been in direct contact with Marseille since learning they were coming over to England to train at St George’s Park and secured the fixture.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity, they are a massive club, playing PSG regularly, and now they are facing the mighty Stanley.

“I think it’s absolutely brilliant. The only downside is that, having the pitch done, means it’s not at home, it would have been fantastic to have the game at the Wham Stadium but this is the next best thing.

“It’s a great friendly, they have players like Mario Balotelli and Dimitri Payet playing for them. It should be good fun and I can’t wait. It’s another step in the right direction for Accrington Stanley.”

Stanley have already announced friendlies at Sligo Rovers (July 8), Bala Town (July 20), Warrington Town (July 22) and Morecambe (July 22).

The French club have won Ligue 1 on nine occasions, with their latest triumph coming in the 2009/10 season.

They won the UEFA Champions League in 1993, the same season that Stanley finished 6th in the Northern Premier League Premier Division

Delighted to have secured the game, Reds boss John Coleman said: “It will be a great game for us, they will field a strong side and it’s great exposure for the club.

“Obviously they are trying to get in tip-top condition for their season and I can have a good look at our squad and see where we are at so it’s a good test for us, especially against the players they have.”

Marseille’s squad consists of internationals such as Balotelli, Florian Thauvin, Luiz Gustavo and former West Ham United player Payet, who scored the winner against Stanley in the Carabao Cup at the Olympic Stadium in September 2016.