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Pre-Season Preview: Juventus

We profile Everton's first opponents on their US tour.

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Everton’s fourth scheduled match of pre-season is their opening fixture in the International Champions Cup.

Here we take a closer look at the Bianconeri - last season's Serie A winners who the Blues play in San Francisco.


Name:
Juventus

When do we play them? The game is part of the International Champions Cup, the eight team tournament currently taking place in the USA. We open up against Juve on 31 July at 8pm local time - 4am on 1 August in the UK.

Where? The game is in San Francisco at AT&T Park, the 41,000 capacity home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.

How can I watch it?
If you aren't making it across the pond, the game will be broadcast live on evertontv. Click here to learn more about how you can view all of Everton’s fixtures in the US.

Antonio ConteAntonio Conte: The Juventus boss won 20 caps for Italy during a distinguished playing career.

Who's their boss?
Antonio Conte. He's played in World Cup and European Championship finals for Italy and moved seamlessly into management, enjoying success at Bari and Siena before steering Juve to back to back Serie A titles.

Who is their best player? Andrea Pirlo, 34, is as influential for his club as he was for his country in the Euros last year. Italian journalist and Serie A expert Tancredi Palmeri says: "I believe in this moment, that nobody compares to how strong Lionel Messi is, but the impact that he can have in a game is not that different to the one Pirlo can have.

"Messi scores so many goals and can solve a game in a moment. But with Pirlo, he is one of the few players in the world who can, by himself, dictate the football of one team. It is not a coincidence that whenever he plays badly, Juventus plays bady, and that doesn't happen very often at all."

Andrea PirloAndrea Pirlo: The 34-year-old playmaker was part of the Italy side that won the World Cup in 2006.

Who's their unsung hero? Arturo Vidal. The Chilean central midfielder, 26, does lots of the fetching and carrying in the middle of the park allowing the aforementioned Pirlo to flourish. His performances have caught they eye of plenty of Europe's other top sides.

How did they get on last season? They cantered to the Serie A title, winning by nine points from closest challengers Napoli. Palmeri says: "They fully deserved to win. They are playing the best football in Italy and bringing back good memories for their fans."

Any Everton connections? Not directly. Midfielder Paul Pogba will be familiar to anyone who watched Everton reserves play Man Utd a coupled of years ago, while Nicolas Anelka was on the books last season.

Have we played them before? Nope.

What does the expert say about them? Palmeri believes Juventus' Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich masked their true quality. He reckons that with only minimal additions to the squad they can be a genuine European contender.

He says: "It looked like they had been destroyed when they lost 4-0 on aggregate to Bayern Munich - then Bayern beat Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate and we realised Juventus is close to the top of Europe, they are just missing a couple of ingredients.

"The only changes are likely to be up front. They already have the goalkeeper (Gianluigi Buffon) and the bulk of the defence and midfield of the national team. They have already signed Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez."
 

bernard philipsThe result is not as important as the development of the pre season, but we will give them a game be sure of that...

Wednesday 31st July 01:20 Report Comment
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