Pre-season friendly preview and odds: Melbourne Victory vs Juventus

International Champions Cup

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Published: 20/07/2016

Pre-season friendly preview and odds: Melbourne Victory vs Juventus

July 23, 2016 10:00am - MCG

International Champions Cup

The International Champions Cup pre-season tournament continues its 2016 expansion with a series on matches in Australia. First up down under is a clash between local team Melbourne Victory and Italian champions Juventus at the MCG.

Juventus kick of ICC campaign in Australia

Juventus will start the season as favourites to claim the Italian league title for sixth-straight time and will continue their pre-season preparations by taking part in the ever-expanding ICC tournament, which is now being staged over four continents.

The Italians will kick off the action down under with a match against local side Melbourne Victory. However, with Euro 2016 having only just finished, there will be a host of first team regulars who will not be making the long trip to the other side of the world. Star players such as Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci, Paul Pogba, SamiKhedira, Marchisio, Barzagli, Zaza, Chiellini and Mandzukic will all be left at home.

Of course, that will be disappointing news for the Australian fans who will have to part with considerable amount of money for a rare chance to watch some of Europe`s biggest team in the flesh. However, it will give Juve boss Max Allegri a chance to assess the rest of his squad ahead of the new season which begins in August.

Paulo Dybala should be present along with new signing Miralem Pjanic, so the Italian giants should still have enough talent at their disposal to overcome their A-league opponents. Having said that, pre-season matches are more about building fitness and implementing training techniques than getting results, so a win for the Old Lady is not guaranteed.

For Melbourne Victory, this game represents a chance to test themselves against elite opposition as they also prepare for the new season. After finishing a disappointing sixth last year, Kevin Muscat`s men will be determined to get back to the top of the table and a handful of new signings can be expected. One player who will be hoping to shine again this year is Besart Berisha. The Albanian front man struck 17 times last season and will be keen to make an impression in front of a global audience.

Team news

There will be plenty of changes for the Italians, while the hosts can be expected to put out a full strength XI as they look to cause an upset.

Recent form (All competitions)

Melbourne Victory: LDWLL

Juventus: WWLWW

Betting odds and tips

An under strength Juventus should still have enough to beat their A-league opponents. However, Max Allegri will be more interested in giving some of his fringe players a run out and building fitness ahead of the new campaign. The Italians struggled in their last appearance in this tournament three years ago, when they were beaten by LA Galaxy. Everton and Inter.

As a result, the Melbourne-Draw Double chance looks good value at 12/5 with Bet365.

By Neil Morris

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