Good evening everyone and thank you for joining us as we bring you live coverage of Roma
's friendly fixture against Serie A rivals Juventus
at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
These sides will be playing out the final game of the International Champions Cup, which was collected by winners Barcelona yesterday evening following their hard-fought 3-2 win over Real Madrid. That result saw Ernesto Valverde
lift his first trophy as the new head coach of Barca. If you can call it a trophy, mind...
So far this tournament has provided some of Europe's top clubs with the opportunity to get several decent runout in their respective build-ups to their new league campaigns. Roma have enjoyed an unbeaten run in their two matches so far, having drawn 1-1 against Paris Saint-Germain before going on to beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2.
's charges have enjoyed promising workouts too after a defeat at the hands of Madrid, which was then followed by a 3-2 victory over PSG.
One thing that is for sure is that both of these teams have endured sizeable upheaval during the summer months, as each side has sold on a number of key players during the summer. Juventus have lost revered leader Leonardo Bonucci following his move to AC Milan, as well as full-back Dani Alves and playmaker Kingsley Coman. As for Roma, they too have lost some influential men with Mohamed Salah, Antonio Rudiger and Leandro Paredes all departing the club for pastures new.
Tonight will likely provide the coaches with a chance to test out some of the fresh faces that were brought in to fill those gaps. For Juve, expect to see Federico Bernardeschi
, Wojciech Szczesny
, Mattia De Sciglio
, Rodrigo Bentancur
and Douglas Costa
all play some part this evening. The Rome club have a number of new players too after making as many as 10 new signings, including the likes of Rick Karsdorp
, Cengiz Under
and Aleksandar Kolarov
Right, time for some team news now...
ROMA STARTING XI: Alisson; Peres, Fazio, Jesus, Kolarov; Strootman, De Rossi, Nainggolan; Dzeko, Perotti, Defrel
Still no news of Juve's starting plans at the moment, but in the meantime let us run you through the Roma starting XI. New coach Eusebio Di Francesco has opted for a 4-3-3 formation, with the potential to revert to a 4-5-1 without possession. The Rome club are to be led by a forward through of Sassuolo loanee Gregoire Defrel, Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti, while a three-man midfield is to be made up of Kevin Strootman, Daniele de Rossi and Radja Nainggolan.
Di Francesco has picked a strong side for this contest, although you might well have expected to see Under start instead of fellow youngster Defrel in attack. Both sides will likely make an unbearable amount of changes at the break so expect to the promising Under at some point tonight.
While we wait for more news on Juve's starting side, here's what Allegri has had to say regarding his side's current preparations: "We've worked well and so far it has been a good pre-season tour. We're coming off two days of intensive training work, so I will evaluate if someone needs a breather. This is an important test and a tough training session as we prepare for the Italian Super Cup."
The weather looks set fair in Foxborough, with the players expect to play in sunny conditions with temperatures hovering around 26 degrees Celsius mark. Here are some images from the ground taken a little earlier today:
Juventus have now revealed their starting XI for the game, which will be with you shortly...
JUVENTUS STARTING XI: Buffon; Sandro, Benatia, Di Sciglio, Rugani; Lemina, Marchisio, Cuadrado, Pjanic; Dybala, Higuain
Allegri has opted to go with a strong unit of players too. As expected frontman Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain start in attack where they will be bolstered by the attacking talents of Miralem Pjanic and Juan Cuadrado. Promising full-back Alex Sandro also starts despite strong rumours of a potential move to Premier League champions Chelsea being on the cards.
There are no starts for Juve's main signings Federico Bernardeschi
and Douglas Costa
, but you would expect them to be introduced somewhere around the half-time mark. Defender Mattia De Sciglio
does start, however, having recently completed his move from AC Milan so it will be interesting to see how he goes under Allegri this evening.
Looking ahead beyond this fixture, these two sides will likely take part in what looks to be an intriguing new Serie A campaign. Last season, Allegri and company marched towards their sixth consecutive Scudetto despite both Roma and Napoli breaking club records in their pursuit of the Italian crown, only to finish runners up to the Old Lady. Beyond those sides, both Inter Milan and AC have made huge strides in the transfer market under new ownership and should each bring an added dimension to the league next term.
Much of that sentiment has been echoed by Allegri, who recently told reporters that he expects the league to be tighter during the coming season: "We've got everything we need to experience an important campaign and there's a month for us to further improve the squad. To be honest, I'd be happier if the transfer deadline was July 31, as it'd be easier to prepare for the season. This is going to be an intriguing Serie A season, because all the big clubs have reinforced and I think it'll be decided at the end. I expect it'll be tighter than last year."
PREDICTION! Not long now until kickoff and it is time to make a prediction... These contests are often hard to call, especially when managers are attempting new things and seeking fitness levels more than anything else. Both teams have put out strong sides and you would expect a competitive contest between these Serie A rivals. Given the attacking quality on show, I'm backing this game for goals and going for a lively 2-2 draw in Foxborough.
Here's a quick preview of Roma warming up a little earlier, we're expecting this game to be underway in the next five or ten minutes:
The players are now in the tunnel in New England as we wait for the start of this contest.
Here we go then, the players emerge from the tunnel ahead of kickoff. Roma in their typical maroon kit, while Juventus don their famous black and white stripes.
KICKOFF! Here we go then, Roma get us moving in the States. The ball is moved straight forward through Nainggolan, but Sandro quickly reads his run and is able to intercept.
Both sides look immaculately drilled as you would expect with Italian sides. Each unit has had the chance to enforce the press already, with Roma looking especially organised with Dzeko applying the pressure up top when the Juve back-line have the ball.
Juve's Cuadrado has been lively thus far down the right flank, where Kolarov has not minded putting in a few strong challenges already. This is a friendly fixture but there often tends to be sparks whenever these two sides meet.
Juve have arguably made most of the early inroads here, this time as Alex Sandro finds some space down the left channel. His ball into the box is a promising one, but neither Dybala or Higuain decide to gamble and Alisson is left to claim the loose ball inside the box.
CHANCE! Almost first blood to Roma... Loanee winger Defrel does brilliantly on the right wing to lose his marker and swing a tempting ball into the middle of the box. Dzeko reacts quickest to spring on the delivery, although he is unable to find the required touch in order to divert the ball past a stranded Buffon.
The Rome club are bringing to grow into this fixture nicely. De Rossi shows great feet in the middle of the Juve half as he pings a productive ball into the remit of Dzeko. The towering frontman brings the ball down and attempts to slide the run of Nainggolan, but Benatia steals in at the vital moment.
Juventus repsond to that early pressure with a chance of their own now. Roma get caught high up the pitch and that allows Di Sciglio to break forward from right-back. The defender eventually brings the ball back into the path of Cuadrado, who swings in a cross towards Mandzukic at the back-post. The pass is inch-perfect, but some poor control from the Juve frontman allows Roma to clear.
Di Francesco's charges have held their lines impressively thus far. Pjanic is given room inside the Roma half and he is frustrated into launching an optimistic ball forward for the run of Mandzukic. The Roma backline do not mind and area able to hound out of the forward before clearing with relative ease.
Nainggolan provides a looming presence for Roma in midfield and it is sometimes easy to forget his technical ability with the ball at his feet. He almost provides a reminder for Juve as he jinks past two men to break inside the box, but his shot is dragged wide of the target and the Old Lady are able to gain back possession.
CHANCE! This could prove to be a troubling combination come next season. Di Sciglio works beautifully with Cuadrado down the right channel in order to allow the winger to whip a dangerous ball into the box Juventus box. The cross picks out Mandzukic on the slide at the back-post, but his finish creeps wide of the target on the full.
CLOSE! The Old Lady work up some pressure around the Roma box, but Allegri's men are unable to find a way through. A speculative short ball in behind eventually rebounds to Pjanic on the edge of the area and he lets fly with a dangerous shot that flies just wide of the far post.
We haven't seen much of Higuain and Dybala partnering yet, but they offer a quick glimpse here. Dybala finds himself with the ball on the edge of the area and he decides to thread a heavy pass into the feet of Higuain. The Argentine striker pops the ball up with his first touch before firing a volley straight at the Roma stopper.
GOAL! ROMA 0-1 JUVENTUS (MARIO MANDZUKIC)
Pure class from Allegri's men to open the scoring... Sandro sees that Roma have fallen asleep into a rather flat back-four before spotting the run of Mandzukic off the last man's shoulder. The towering frontman moves into space to collect the ball and is then able to round an on-rushing Alisson, leaving him with the chance to slot into an empty net. Wonderful movement and a great piece of skill from the Croatia international.
Roma have worked hard in this first half but they are yet to really find the required spark going forward, ignoring that one chance for Dzeko early on. Juve have pressured well and their approach to tight marking has proved fruitful thus far.
ALMOST! Roma opt to push up with a high back-line, which Sandro reads with delight. The full-back pops a long ball in over the top for the run of Cuadrado, who cuts in from the right flank to push through the middle. It looks like the wide-man might just bring the ball under control with just the keeper to beat, but he fluffs his lines to allow both Fazio and Jesus to recover.
YELLOW CARD! Perotti goes into the referee's book for a dive inside the Juventus box. Silly really, he's never going to get a penalty for it either. Allegri will be pleased with what he has seen during the first period, especially down the flanks, where Sandro, Cuadrado and newcomer Di Sciglio have excelled. Balls through the middle also appear to be working nicely for the Old Lady with Mandzukic proving a real handful off the last man.
HALF TIME: ROMA 0-1 JUVENTUS
So the referee brings a close to an entertaining first half of football in the USA, where Juventus have just about shaded proceedings. Both sides are getting a decent workout here, although the Old Lady have arguably looked the more threatening team going forward.
As you might expect from a fixture like this, both managers will likely make a whole host of changes during the break. We will do our best to keep you up-to-date with those changes as the game progresses.
We're almost back underway here as the players remerge from the tunnel following the break. Both teams have made a whole host of changes and we might just see a different rhythm to the this second offering in Foxborough.
SECOND HALF! Juve get us going again in the second half...
ALMOST! It's taken the best part of five minutes for something vaguely interesting to happen and it is almost a piece of brilliance from Juve. Higuain does superbly on the turn to confuse his marker and flick a pass in behind for the run of Dybala, who takes a touch before drilling past Allison into an empty net. However, the linesman has his flag raised for offside...
OFF THE BAR! You wait for one bus... Roma move the ball with speed down to the other end of the pitch, where Strootman takes aim from the edge of the box before lashing a thunderous effort beyond Buffon and onto the crossbar. The Rome club have clearly made a slight adjustment to their shape with Strootman and Nainggolan sitting a little further forward.
SHOT! Better from Roma... Nainggolan does well to cut the ball across the box from the right channel, leaving Dzeko to snap a wonderful volley first time towards goal, but Buffon has it covered all the way as he makes a strong stop in the centre of goal.
Juventus and Roma are now preparing to make a few more changes just after the hour mark. This encounter has seemingly lost a bit of its spark from the opening half, but for both managers this fixture is largely about getting more minutes under their players' belts now.
Juventus are aiming to thread a few passes together now as this game slows right down to a canter for Allegri's men. The club's early danger down the wings seems to have disappeared after all those changes.
YELLOW CARD! Chiellini goes into the book for a late challenge on Under. Neither side can really seem to put the required balls together in the final third. Kolarov tries his luck from distance with the free kick, but his effort is sent straight into the Juventus wall.
One thing the coaches will be pleased with will be the organisation on show tonight. Both sides have looked defensively sound, apart from when Roma were caught napping on the one occasion for Juve's goal. We haven't quite seen fireworks going forward, but this contest has proven important purely for the teams' concentration levels ahead of the new season.
GOAL! ROMA 1-1 JUVENTUS (EDIN DZEKO)
Now where did that come from? Rome have a leveller and it arrives through the industrious work of Dzeko, who has arguably been Roma's best performer. The towering striker reacts quickest to Kolarov's ball into the middle and the former Manchester City frontman is left with a simple prod in order to beat the Juve stopper and earn his side parity.
We're into the final 10 minutes here, will we find a winner? Dzeko has put in a brilliant shift for Roma who have managed to drag themselves back into this contest during the last few minutes.
Juventus do not seem in too much of a hurry to move the ball forward. Allegri's men seem rather content to knock possession around the back. As things stand, we are heading for a rather pointless penalty shootout.
SHOT! Federico Bernardeschi has impressed since coming on and he almost finds a winner late on. The club's new frontman receives the ball wide on the left channel before cutting inside his man to flash a low shot just wide of Roma's near post.
Hmm... Are we in for some more late ICC drama here? It appears as though Fazio has been adjudged to have brought a Juve man down on the edge of the box, leaving Douglas Costa with the chance to get a strike in on goal...
ALMOST! Costa gets everything behind the ball, but his effort flies off target after using the wall as a decoy and firing across the face of goal.
FULL TIME: ROMA 1-1 JUVENTUS - WE ARE HEADING TO A PENALTY SHOOTOUT!
Tumminello steps up but sees his spot kick saved down low...
Lichtsteiner makes no mistake as he rifles home.
Pinsoglio is almost the hero again, but Pellegrini finds a way past him.
Barzagli knocks it home.
Almost another great stop from the Juve keeper, although Iturbe sneaks his finish beyond Pinsoglio.
No problems for Bernardeschi...
Peres keeps Roma in the hunt with a tidy finish.
Easy pickings for Sami Khedira who scores a fourth for Juventus.
Under bags Roma's fifth spot kick, but should Juve score their final one they will win the shootout...
Douglas Costa rifles home emphatically in order to seal things for Allegri's men. The Old Lady win out here!
So there we have it, just one spot kick between these sides as Juventus take the final spoils on offer in the International Champions Cup. Thank you for joining me this evening. Make sure you come back soon as we will doubtless be bringing you more pre-season coverage ahead of Europe's respective league campaigns.