Juventus lack star power for Australia tour

No Paul Pogba for Melbourne as Italian champions Juventus have spared 13 players the trip to Australia for the International Champions Cup after their EURO 2016 exploits.

Pogba and Khedira

Source: Getty Images



Melbourne fans hoping to see a full-strength Juventus side up close will have to visit Turin later on since the vast majority of the club's first team squad has been granted time off after participation at EURO 2016.

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Gianluigi Buffon, captain of Juve and Italy, and France midfielder Paul Pogba are among those given an extended break by the Serie A giants, thus missing their two Melbourne dates this month.

Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Simone Zaza, Andrea Barzagli, Stefano Sturaro (all Italy), Sami Khedira (Germany), Mario Mandzukic (Croatia), Patrice Evra (France), and Stephan Lichtsteiner (Switzerland) - have also stayed home after their involvement in France.

Claudio Marchisio is still recovering from a cruciate ligament injury sustained near the end of last season, while new signing Dani Alves is also omitted.

It means Argentina striker Paulo Dybala, Bosnian new signing Miralem Pjanic, and on-loan Moroccan defender Medhi Benatia will spearhead the side for matches against Melbourne Victory (23 July) and Tottenham Hotspur (26 July) at the MCG.

The absences are not surprising given the taxing schedule of Juve players over the last 12 months.

From the club's first pre-season match in July 2015 through to the end of the European Championships this month, seven Italian internationals were eligible for 71 matches for club and country.

With 13 players, including Bayern Munich two-year loanee Kingsley Coman, in action at EURO 2016, Juventus had more participants than any other club.

They will still provide a stern test for Victory and English Premier League side Tottenham, who finished third last season, their highest spot since 1989-1990.

Dybala, 22, scored 23 goals for Juventus in his first campaign for the club and is widely considered to be one of the next global superstars of the sport.

Pjanic returns to Melbourne in black and white stripes after turning out last year in the red and gold of Roma.



Juventus squad for ICC

Alex Sandro, Asamoah, Audero, Benatia, Blanco, Cerri, Coccolo, Del Favero, Dybala, Hernanes, Kastanos, Lemina, Lirola, Loria, Macek, Marrone, Neto, Padovan, Parodi, Pereyra, Pjanic, Rosseti, Rugani, Severin, Vitale.

* Bold denotes first-team squad members


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Published 18 July 2016 at 11:28am