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Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Benfica

The King. Who goes by the name Arthur.
The King. Who goes by the name Arthur.

For the second stop in Juventus' 2012 Magical European Mystery Tour, it's off to Switzerland — Geneva, more specifically. No, no. It's not so Sebastian Giovinco can find some more chocolate in the hope of gaining some extra weight, it's for another friendly.

This time, Juve find themselves squaring off against Portuguese side Benfica. Although, maybe they can bring us back some chocolate? I mean, it sounds like a really good idea. And the players seem really nice, so maybe we can work something out? Just throwing it out there.

Okay, enough about that. A few thoughts — legitimate ones, I promise — and lineups after the jump.

What to watch for:

  • The lineup Juventus will field. Will there be anybody from the ItalJuve contingent taking part? Or, like against Hertha Berlin over the weekend, will they remain home to train at Vinovo?
  • Nineteen-year-old defender Alberto Masi. The void left by Juventus' BBC Defense (see what I did there? /takes a bow) has allowed the summer signing from Pro Vercelli to feature prominently at the center of Juve's defense in the preseason friendlies. And he's taken complete advantage of it. With rumors swirling that Beppe Marotta is thinking about buying the other half of his contract before the Serie A campaign starts, another good performance against a quality side like Benfica would only help his case.
  • Luca Marrone. He has been one of the brightest performers thus far during preseason training. Conte is so confident in the 22-year-old's abilities, the Juventus boss utilized him as a central defender the win over Hertha Berlin and Il Mister had nothing but good things to say afterwards.
  • The fitness level. We're still not that deep into training and with Juve playing its second game in four days, it'll be interesting to see how the squad — most notably the players who have logged the most minutes thus far — perform against Benfica.


Juventus XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Marrone, Bonucci; Padoin, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Giovinco, Martri

Benfica XI (4-4-2): Artur; Maxi Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Melgarejo; Javi Garcia, Alex, Perez, Martins; Gaitan, Michel