A friendly to look forward to at the season-opener

This Saturday, TSG Hoffenheim will host Hellas Verona for the season-opening event at the PreZero Arena. The Serie A outfit will present the toughest test yet for André Breitenreiter's side as they round off preparations for the new season.

TSG won their first three friendly matches of pre-season (4-0 against Walldorf, 2-0 against Heidenheim, 2-0 against Puskás Akadémia) before drawing 2-2 with US Salernitana after an exhausting training camp in Kitzbühel. Now the big season-opening event, which promises numerous highlights, will be the acid test before the DFB-Pokal match away to SV Rödinghausen next weekend. The season-opening match will be played in a 4x30 minute format.

Last year's ninth-placed finishers in Serie A have re-established themselves in the top tier after many years as a yoyo club between the top three divisions of Italian football. Verona have now finished in the top half of Serie A for three seasons in a row. The team's stars are Czech international and EURO participant Antonin Barak and Argentinian Giovanni Simeone. The son of Atlético Madrid coach Diego Simeone has been signed on a permanent basis this summer after a one-year loan from Cagliari last season. With 17 goals to his name, the striker was the top scorer for the club that won the Serie A title back in 1985.

In the 1980s, two notable Germans played for the Blue & Yellows: the 1982 European Champion Hans-Peter Briegel and the 1990 World Cup winner Thomas Berthold. Verona currently have a German player in their ranks: Koray Günter, who played youth football for Borussia Dortmund, found his way to Hellas Verona via Galatasaray Istanbul and CFC Genoa. The 27-year-old has established himself at the club and has made 91 appearances in all competitions so far.

In addition to the match, there will be a number of different attractions and highlights on the programme for Saturday's event. The season opening will start at 12:00 CET at the PreZero Arena. After the game, you will have the chance to meet the TSG stars at an autograph session. Come along! Tickets start at just €5.

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