Preview of Juventus' encounter against Real Madrid
- Washington Post's Steven Goffе previews the ICC game
"A crowd of between 50,000 and 60,000 is expected for this preseason friendly between European elites who will enter the new campaign this month as a three-time defending Champions League winner (Real) and seven-time reigning Serie A titleholder (Juventus). The sides collided in the Champions League quarterfinals in April, with Real surviving 4-3 on aggregate after winning the first leg, 3-0, in Turin.
"Real has lifted the Champions League trophy a record 13 times while finishing second on three occasions. Juventus is a two-time winner and seven-time runner-up. Both carry huge ambitions into the upcoming continental tournament, which will launch group play Sept. 18-19.
"This early meeting could’ve provided a spectacular setting for Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to face his previous club after an estimated $117 million transfer last month. But like many other players who reached the group stage of the World Cup, the Portuguese attacker was on vacation until recently and skipped the U.S. tour. Also absent from the Juventus delegation are Paulo Dybala (Argentina), Juan Cuadrado (Colombia), Rodrigo Bentancur (Uruguay), Douglas Costa (Brazil), Mario Mandzukic (Croatia), Marko Pjaca (Croatia) and Blaise Matuidi (France).
Watch also: Where will Cristiano Ronaldo live in Turin?
"On the tour, Juventus has defeated Bayern Munich, 2-0, in Philadelphia; beaten Benfica on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw in Harrison, N.J.; and topped the MLS all-stars on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw Wednesday before more than 72,000 in Atlanta. The Serie A opener is Aug. 18 at Chievo.
"Real is adjusting to the departure of both Ronaldo (450 goals in 438 matches over nine seasons) and coach Zinedine Zidane, who abruptly stepped down after the Champions League triumph against Liverpool in May in Kiev, Ukraine. The new boss is Julen Lopetegui, who was fired by Spain days before the World Cup because of the commotion he caused by agreeing to join Real later in the summer.
"Real began its U.S. tour with a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in Miami and will close it Tuesday against Roma in East Rutherford, N.J. Next on the agenda is the UEFA Super Cup against Atletico Madrid on Aug. 15 in Tallinn, Estonia.
"Five World Cup players are currently absent: France’s Raphael Varane, Croatia’s Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic, and Brazil’s Marcelo and Casemiro. World Cup performers Sergio Ramos (Spain), Isco (Spain) and Keylor Navas (Costa Rica) are back with the squad, which totals 32 players, including Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos. "
Will we win tonight?