The pre-season takes on added importance this year as teams have had more time to prepare thanks to the absence of a World Cup or European Championship. The merry-go-round that is the transfer market means that it is also a great opportunity for managers to trial and figure out how their new additions will blend into their current squads. As is always the case, the International Champions Cup has been able to attract the biggest clubs in the world including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern Munich – just to name a few. The tournament takes place across three regions: the USA, Singapore and China. AC Milan and Dortmund kick things off tonight in Guangzhou.
AC Milan v Borussia Dortmund – Tuesday 9:20pm AEST
The Italian giants have fallen into obscurity in recent years with a 6th place finish in the Serie A last season their best result since 2013. Last year was Montella’s first at the helm and The Wolf is predicting Milan to show vast improvement over the next 12 months. They have been very active in the transfer market adding Biglia, Andre Silva, Ricardo Rodriguez, Franck Kessie and Fabio Borini with their eyes set on also getting Renato Sanches on loan from Bayern. If they can manage to get Sanches you can lock them in for a top 3 finish in the league.
For Dortmund the off season is more about holding onto players rather than signing new talent. They have been somewhat of a feeder club for some of Europe’s richest clubs and have been stripped of names like Mkhitaryan, Hummels and Gundogan over the last two years. They look set to lose Aubameyang next with Chelsea set to shed out 70 million Euro’s for his services. It may not stop there with Sokratis, their defensive leader, grabbing the attention of Juventus. Nevertheless, there is no shortage of talent with a roster that includes Reus, Schurrle, Gotze and Dembele.
This is a tournament that Milan have never performed well in with just 1 regulation time win in their last 8 games. They lost by multiple goals to both Liverpool and Chelsea a year ago and were blown off the park in 2014 losing all three games – scoring 1 goal and conceding 10! Dortmund made the most of their two matches last year with a dominant win over Man Utd and a penalty shootout loss to Man City. With AC Milan looking to introduce several new players to the squad The Wolf says there isn’t a better time to back a Dortmund win. Friendly or no friendly, complacency is not a word that exists in the German football vocabulary.
Best Bet: Dortmund WIN ($2.10)
Value: Handicap Dortmund -1 ($3.50)