Friday, 22 July 2016

Melbourne Victory vs Juventus International Champions Cup Match Preview And Prediction - July 23, 2016

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Melbourne Victory have become the first team from the Asian Football Confederation to be involved in the fast growing International Champions Cup this summer, a pre-season friendly tournament that pits some of the biggest names in football against each other.

The tournament is split into three separate events, with the Australia instalment having four teams, the China version contested by three, and the Europe/USA section having ten of Europe’s biggest clubs contesting in a group.

Melbourne Victory are part of the four team group in the Australia version, alongside Tottenham Hotspur, Juventus, and Atletico Madrid. It certainly won’t be an easy test for the Australians despite their home advantage, but it gives them a chance to test their mettle against some of the biggest names in football. The Australian domestic season doesn’t kick off until October either, so they will very much be lacking in match fitness.

Their last competitive match saw Melbourne Victory knocked out of the Asian Champions League in the round of 16 by Jeonbuk Motors, and overall their form towards the end of the season was poor. They have only won one of their last seven matches in all competitions, losing three times.

Juventus clinched yet another Serie A title last season as they continued their dominance of Italy, and they followed up their league triumph with a Coppa Italia win against AC Milan.

This takes Juventus’ record to a very impressive nine wins and one defeat in their last ten games, but they will be without a huge number of their key players for this ICC campaign. All players involved in the latter stages of Euro 2016 have been given an extended holiday, meaning an entirely rebuilt back line and the absence of other key players such as Patrice Evra, Paul Pogba, Stefan Sturaro, Sami Khedira, and Claudio Marchisio.

Juventus naming a largely second string squad could work in their advantage though. The players will be desperate to prove themselves and try to force their way into the first team for the upcoming season, and the squad still includes some very talented players such as new signing Miralem Pjanic and the promising Paulo Dybala.

My prediction is that this young squad who are eager to showcase their talents will come out of the blocks fast against a mediocre Melbourne Victory side, and odds of 10/11 for a Juventus Win at Half-Time and Full-Time look very good value. I’m going for a 3-0 correct score prediction at 15/2 as well.

This will be the first meeting between these two sides.

Juventus have won 90% of their last ten matches in all competitions, and their first goal in the 40th minute on average.

Melbourne Victory are expected to bring a fully fit squad to the International Champions Cup.

Juventus have given 13 players an extended break after their Euro 2016 involvement, with Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonnuci, and Giorgio Chiellini all missing out to make way for a completely changed defensive set up. Paul Pogba, Stefano Sturaro, Simone Zaza, Sami Khedira, Mario Mandzukic, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Patrice Evra, Claudio Marchisio, and Dani Alves have all been left out of the squad too.

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