Real Madrid will play their third and final pre-season friendly of the summer on Saturday evening when they take on Italian giants Juventus in California. Los Blancos will enter the contest off the back of a 2-2 draw with Club America on Tuesday, while Juventus played out a 2-2 draw with Barcelona on the same night. Real Madrid opened their preparations for the 2022-23 campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Barcelona in El Clasico on July 23 before playing out a 2-2 draw with Club America in their second friendly on Tuesday night. Karim Benzema was on the scoresheet on his return to the side, while Eden Hazard registered from the penalty spot, as head coach Carlo Ancelotti again made use of his squad at Oracle Park in California.
Real Madrid, who won a La Liga and Champions League double last season, will round off their pre-season with this contest against Juventus before taking on Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup on August 10. Ancelotti’s side will then begin their 2022-23 La Liga campaign away to Almeria on August 14 before also taking on Celta Vigo and Espanyol in the opening month of the new season. Real Madrid have only made two new signings this summer, bringing in Aurelien Tchouameni from Monaco and Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer from Chelsea; Ancelotti has insisted that the club’s business has finished, but there remain rumours that a new centre-forward could arrive before the end of the window, especially if Mariano Diaz and Marco Asensio depart in the coming weeks.
Juventus, meanwhile, opened their preparations for the new campaign with a 2-0 victory over Guadalajara on July 22 before playing out a 2-2 draw with Barcelona on Tuesday night. Ousmane Dembele and Moise Kean both scored braces in the entertaining contest in Texas, and the Old Lady now have two more friendlies against Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, with the second match taking place on August 7, before opening their new Serie A campaign against Sassuolo on August 15. The Italian giants finished fourth in Serie A last season, in addition to being knocked out in the last-16 stage of the Champions League, so head coach Massimiliano Allegri will be targeting improvement in 2022-23.
Juventus have signed Federico Chiesa on a permanent basis from Fiorentina this summer, while the club have also brought in Bremer, Andrea Cambiaso, Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria. Matthijs de Ligt and Merih Demiral are among the players to move on, and there is expected to be more movement, both in and out, before the end of the summer transfer window. Real Madrid boss Ancelotti said after the match with Club America that he is expecting to have Dani Carvajal available for selection against Juventus, with the right-back winning his fight to overcome an ankle issue. There will be a number of changes to the side that took to the field for the first whistle against the Mexican giants last time out, with Thibaut Courtois, Carvajal, David Alaba, Eder Militao, Federico Valverde, Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga and Rodrygo all expected to come back in.
Benzema could play another 45 minutes, with Hazard possibly playing the second half at centre-forward, while Vinicius Junior is again expected to play off the left from the first whistle. Ancelotti has said that he will be looking to “reduce the workload for the players” against Juventus, as he looks ahead to the UEFA Super Cup with Frankfurt on August 10. As for Juventus, Pogba is facing an extended spell on the sidelines with a knee injury, and there are fears that the midfielder could even be absent for the 2022 World Cup.
Weston McKennie and Dusan Vlahovic were again notable absentees for the Old Lady against Barcelona, with the pair also missing out against Guadalajara due to fitness problems. However, Allegri has revealed that he is expecting the pair to feature against Real Madrid, and it would not be a surprise to see them in the starting XI, with Kean potentially dropping down to the bench.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Tchouameni, Camavinga; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius
Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Bremer, Sandro; Di Maria, Zakaria, McKennie, Locatelli, Pellegrini; Vlahovic