Instead of traveling to the United States for the second consecutive summer to take part in the World Football Challenge, Juventus decided to stay where they are. Well, kinda. The trip to Vegas to play Real Madrid has been replaced with a nice little trip around Europe, which will surely be more enjoyable than 100-degree temps and a bunch of slot machines.
And the first stop in "EUROPEAN JUVENTUS VACATION 2012" is a trip to Berlin to face the Blue and White folks at Hertha Berlin. Maybe we'll be able to ask somebody how Germany did against Italy in the 2012 Euros or 2006 World Cup, too. I dunno. Just a thought I had just now. That'd be fun, wouldn't it?
Moving on. Let's get back on topic.
If you don't want to include the Trofeo TIM as the first legitimate friendly of the summer, well then this would be its replacement. And who wouldn't want to begin a nice little tour of Europe in Germany? I mean, play a little ball, tour the town for an hour of two. Hey, you might even run into somebody who recognizes Luca Toni and there could be a random outbreak of "Numero Uno" being sung in the streets. You never know!
Right, again, back on topic.
Le Chiavi: Let me pull out all of my notes on the 2011-12 Bundesliga season from last season and — welp. That didn't go as well as I expected it to. Let me just fire up my Google machine. I'll be right back.
With a couple quick clicks, here's what I now know about Hertha Berlin: They were relegated to Bundesliga 2 at the end of this past season (read more here). They beat Premiership side Norwich City 3-2 in their most recent preseason friendly, courtesy of a hat trick from 20-year-old German striker Elias Kachunga, who is on loan from Borrusia Mönchengladbach. (By the way, how awesome is THAT last name?)
That's about it. Thanks for coming, everybody!
Good news: Everybody's back! Well, for the most part. The Super Italian 8 have returned to base camp and are currently getting back in the conditioning routine at Vinovo. Their status for this one, as far as I'm concerned should be "Stay away." Not because I hate them or anything, though. They've been back training for what, three or four days? Is that really the best time to roll out some of your most important players? I dunno.
And luckily Antonio Conte has cooperated. The 20-man callup sheet doesn't include any of the internationals from the Euros.
Bad news: The injury bug is already here. That goddamn TIM Trophy. I just wanna kick it and the turf at the San Nicola right in the face.
- Martin Caceres: Done for six-to-eight weeks.
- Simone Pepe: Done for three weeks.
- And let us not forget that Giorgio Chiellini is still working his way back from his Euro 2012 injury.
More bad news: This game is at 6:30 in the morning here on the West Coast. Yeah, that sucks for me. Or maybe they just want to get me ready for the Serie A schedule? Sorry, folks, but there won't be any lineups posted here.
SLACKER! FIRE HIM NOW, SBN!
I just want a good clean and nobody get hurt. (Yes, I'm now a boxing official. But after last weekend, it kinda applies.)