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Roma v Juventus – Italian giants clash in Massachusetts
Serie A rivals AS Roma and Juventus face one another in their final International Champions Cup match, as both look to end the American leg of their pre-seasons on a high. The two have faced high calibre opposition Stateside, though this will, clearly, be the most useful warm-up ahead of the Serie A kick-off in a fortnight.
Roma have played Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham Hotspur, losing only on penalties to the Parisians and beating Spurs 3-2 to show that they have the quality to compete with some of the best sides in Europe. They will need those sorts of performances when the Champions League begins for them in September; they, along with Juventus, are in the group stages after finishing a position and four points behind the Turin outfit.
Ahead of the new season, they have had a mixed summer with regards to transfer activity. They have lost star men Mohamed Salah, Antonio Rudiger and Leonardo Paredes to Liverpool, Chelsea and Zenit St. Petersburg respectively, while Wojciech Szczesny returned to Arsenal after his loan spell and was then purchased by Juventus as an understudy to Gianluigi Buffon – so they have effectively lost the spine of their starting XI that served them so well in 2016/17. They have, however, tied Radja Nainggolan down to a new long-term contract, while extensive additions have arrived including Rick Karsdorp, Bruno Peres, Maxime Gonalons and Alexander Kolarov. It, of course, remains to be seen whether or not these are adequate replacements, particularly with a revitalised Milan also likely to be challenging for the scudetto.
One reason that Milan may well offer Juventus a real challenge for the crown is the fact that they managed to sign Leonardo Bonucci from the champions. The Old Lady, it seems, will have proper competition for the upcoming year. Max Allegri has added Federico Bernardeschi and Douglas Costa to his attack, though the title fight, should it materialise as expected, will be fascinating. In the US, Juve lost to Barcelona, but beat PSG. After this friendly they then face Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley – Spurs’ current home – before starting their campaign against Lazio in the Supercoppa Italiana.
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