International Champions Cup United States
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7/26/16 - Final
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Juventus
2
Tottenham Hotspur
1

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By Harry Sherlock

Spurs will have their Champions League credentials tested when they face the Italian champions in Australia.

Tottenham Hotspur return to competitive action for the first time since their humbling 5-1 defeat to Newcastle United as they face Juventus in the International Champions Cup on Tuesday.

Spurs will take on the Italian champions at Melbourne Cricket Ground, prior to facing Atletico Madrid on Friday as part of the competition.

The Argentine, who has quashed any talk of taking his country’s national team job, said, "We have ahead a very important season with Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup competitions and we need to be ready to compete."

The trio of Nabil Bentaleb, Federico Fazio and Alex Pritchard have also been left out of the selection, with Pochettino indicating all three are free to leave the club.

Spurs ultimately missed out on second place in the Premier League due to their shellacking at St James’ Park, but will join Juve in the Champions League next season.

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The Italian giants will follow their clash with Spurs with a game against South China on Saturday as they continue their preparations for the 2016-17 season.

Their tour of Australia, however, has been largely overshadowed by talk of Paul Pogba joining Manchester United.

Allegri refused to address the speculation on Monday, instead pointing the assembled media towards his team selection, with summer signing Miralem Pjanic in line to play.

"Benatia is going to play as well as Pjanic and [Roberto] Pereyra," Allegri said. "Probably we are going to play with four defenders with either a young player or Alex Sandro at right-back.

"It is an important test. We will use it to test our condition. We will then finish our training season for the summer in Hong Kong. Tomorrow is going to be a very different game [to Tuesday]. There is going to be more intensity.

"I am going to try and play the players who played the first half of the last game more, even though it was only the first match. We are not sure if they are in the ideal condition to play a full match."

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The Premier League outfit suffered a poor start in the game, with a mistake from young defender Dominic Ball being capitalised on by Paulo Dybala.

Medhi Benatia scored his first goal for Juventus as the Serie A champions ran out 2-1 winners against Tottenham in the International Champions Cup in Melbourne.

The centre-back looped home a header after Paulo Dybala had put Juve in front with just six minutes played against a youthful Spurs side at the MCG.

Mauricio Pochettino's team enjoyed plenty of possession, particularly in the second half, but struggled to make any headway against an inexperienced Juve defence who did well to keep debutant Vincent Janssen quiet.

Miralem Pjanic impressed for Massimiliano Allegri's side but missed a superb chance for a third goal, and Erik Lamela gave Spurs hope of a comeback when he halved the deficit with 23 minutes left.

But Juve held on and looked largely in good shape, despite still missing the players involved at Euro 2016, including reported Manchester United target Paul Pogba.

The Old Lady broke the deadlock early on as errors in the Tottenham rearguard undid their promising early work.

Dominic Ball lost possession to Roberto Pereyra, and after Cameron Carter-Vickers failed to win the ball back with a slide tackle, the Argentinian picked out Dybala in space in the area, who lashed home into the bottom corner.

Dybala came close to a second on 13 minutes, latching onto a loose ball before letting fly from 25 yards, forcing Michel Vorm to tip the ball over the bar.

But when the resulting corner was cleared only as far as Pjanic, the midfielder clipped a fine cross towards former Roma team-mate Benatia, who rose highest to loop a header back across goal and into the right-hand corner of Vorm's net.

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Youngster William Miller was a bright spark for Spurs in a disappointing half, and the 20-year-old felt aggrieved not to win a penalty when he went to ground under pressure from Benatia and Pol Lirola, although the contact was minimal.

Pochettino made four changes at the break and his side started the second half brightly, although Pjanic should have made it 3-0 when he raced in behind the Spurs defence following Hernanes' pass, only to balloon a shot over the bar from 12 yards out.

Lamela snatched a lifeline for Spurs, drilling low into the bottom-right corner after Victor Wanyama had done well to win back possession in Juve's half, and the Argentinian stung the palms of Neto when he side-footed straight at the Juve goalkeeper from the edge of the area.

Shayon Harrison was denied a stoppage-time equaliser when Neto saved well low to his right after good work from Lamela, allowing Juve to hold on for the win.