"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.