In just seven days, Juventus will be playing for a trophy. Maybe not a trophy that has the same kind of meaning as the one they hope to have held above their heads in late April or early May, but one that still would be a huge boost for a group that has quite a new look to it.
And I'm not just talking about the new adidas kits.
But before Juventus makes the trip to over to Shanghai for seven lovely days in China, there's one last preseason friendly to attend to. You know, the game that doesn't mean much of anything before the game that actually does have substance. A friendly before the meaningful game because that's how things work around these parts.
Juventus has made the trip over the Alps and over to the South of France to face Marcelo Bielsa and Olympique Marseille — which, like Borussia Dortmund was a few days back, is much further along in their summer training than the team in bianconero that is lining up against them.
But like Juventus, Marseille has undergone quite a bit of changes this summer. Maybe the overall quality of players have departed the Vélodrome in comparison to Juventus. It's not all too common to see players on Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tévez's level play in the Champions League final and then all wear different jerseys to start the next season.
Can Juventus build off its 2-1 win midweek and head to China with some positive momentum in its sails? Of course, this won't be the finished product by any means, but it would be nice to start the season off on the right foot. And that progression continues — at least in theory — today against Marseille.
Juventus (4-3-1-2): Gianluigi Buffon; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Leonardo Bonucci, Martin Caceres, Patrice Evra; Claudio Marchisio, Sami Khedira, Paul Pogba; Roberto Pereyra; Mario Mandzukic, Alvaro Morata
Juventus bench: Neto, Rubinho, Emil Audero, Mauricio Isla, Simone Zaza, Kingsley Coman, Simone Padoin, Paulo Dybala, Daniele Rugani, Stefano Sturaro, Mattia Vitale, Giulio Parodi, Andres Tello, Alberto Cerri, Guido Vadala
Marseille (4-3-3): Mandanda; Djadjédjé, Nkoulou, Rekik, Mendy; Sparagna; Barrada, Lemina; Thauvin, Batshuayi, Alessandrini
How to watch
TV: Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)
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