Juventus striker Paulo Dybala is expecting Melbourne Victory to mount a strong challenge against his under-strength side in their opening International Champions Cup match on Saturday night at the MCG.
The Italian champions have left 13 players at home for the Australian leg of the tournament, with Italy skipper Gianluigi Buffon and France midfielder Paul Pogba among those given a rest following their European 2016 Championship exploits.
Argentine striker Dybala, on-loan Moroccan defender Medhi Benatia and Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic will spearhead their side for matches against Victory (July 23) and Tottenham Hotspur (July 26).
Atletico Madrid are the fourth team in their pool, taking on Spurs on July 29 in Melbourne.
Dybala, after scoring 23 goals for Juventus in his first campaign for the club, is widely considered to be one of the next global superstars of the sport.
The 22-year-old, who on Wednesday tested his skills with the Sherrin alongside Richmond AFL players, said his team were also feeling the affects of their travel.
He said they hadn't really started preparations and would be on the back foot against the A-League line-up.
"It will be a tough game because we have just arrived and have jet lag," he said.
"We will do the best for our fans in an important game."
Dybala didn't know much of Australian soccer, but had taken note of Socceroo Tim Cahill's World Cup goal against the Netherlands in 2014 in Brazil.
"I remember his goal and it was one of the best goals of all of the competition," he said.
Likened to a young Ronaldo, Dybala said he was flattered by the comparison.
"He's a great player and it would be a pleasure to be like him but being myself is fine," he said.