TSG set for international friendlies

Having completed several intensive sessions, the TSG Hoffenheim squad are edging closer to the highlight of their Windischgarsten training camp: Alfred Schreuder's charges will face Verona (17:00 CET) and then Trabzonspor (19:00 CET) in back-to-back friendlies in Bad Wimsbach-Neydharting on Thursday.

"They're both well-organised opponents. For us, they're superb friendlies to prepare ourselves for the Bundesliga," said head coach Alfred Schreuder with satisfaction as he looked ahead to Thursday's back-to-back friendlies against Verona (17:00 CET) and Trabzonspor (19:00 CET).

The players are eagerly anticipating the matches, too. "We're always delighted to be able to play a friendly following such intensive training sessions," said Steven Zuber. His team-mate Pavel Kaderabek added: "On Thursday, we'll each have the opportunity to play 90 minutes for the first time this pre-season. That'll do us good, as we've previously played a maximum of 60 minutes at a time."

Promoted club and a Europa League participant

Both opponents enjoyed eventful campaigns last term. Verona were promoted to the Italian top-flight after winning 3-0 in the second leg of their Serie A play-off against AS Cittadella. The Gialloblu had lost the first leg 2-0.

Trabzonspor, meanwhile, will be contesting Europa League qualifiers at the start of August. Coach Ünal Karaman's side finished in fourth place in the Süper Lig last season – only six points behind eventual champions Galatasaray.

The Turkish top-flight club will present some familiar faces, including two ex-Bundesliga players  Jose Ernesto Sosa (Bayern Munich) and Donis Avdijaj (Schalke 04)  and John Obi Mikel, who made 372 appearances for Chelsea. "Trabzonspor also have a Czech left-back: Filip Novak. I'd love to play against him," added Pavel Kaderabek. 

Return on Friday

TSG will return to their team hotel following the back-to-back friendlies. They will then undergo another training session on Friday before embarking upon the return journey to the Kraichgau.

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