Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, United States
Key Stat: Carlo Ancelotti is perhaps the most successful football manager working in the game today. His win percentage? Remarkable. 59.6%! By the end of the 2016/17 season, we fully expect it to be well over 60%.
Expert Verdict: This will be a game that see plenty of substitutions and stoppages. Don’t expect a festival of football. It’s all about fitness and seeing how players play together at this level of pre-season. That said, every game has a result at the end. And our prediction is for a narrow win by the Italians. And, at 4/1? That’s a nice price!
The Bank of America Stadium, in Charlotte, North Carolina sees an almighty clash of the giants on Saturday 30th July. German champs Bayern Munich face off against Italian legends Inter Milan. The Nerazzurri, for their part, will want to improve on their perf ormance in last year’s ICC, which saw them lose two games out of two (and get a hammering by Real Madrid in the process). They’ll aim to do that by using a similar team to the one that just played - and lost 3-1 - to Paris Saint Germain. They’ll add Davide Santon and Assane Gnoukouri in to the mix too, with the latter perhaps featuring off the bench.
Handanovic, D'Ambrosio, Miranda, Ranocchia, Santon, Biabiany, Melo, Kondogbia, Nagatomo, Palacio, Jovetic.
Carlo Ancelotti hasn’t been in the managerial hotseat for very long and this is Bayern’s first pre-season friendly. So he’ll want to get a good look at his squad. Who will he pick? It’s not entirely certain. But he did give a lot of players time off. To recover from the Euros and things. A lot of the bigger names are at home or on a beach relaxing.
Ulreich, Badstuber, Rafinha, Bernat, Lahm, Hausler, Alonso, Ribery, Ozturk, Dorsch, Pantovic, Lappe.
The Bavarian giants and the blue side of Milan have met five times before of late, competitively. And while Bayern Munich might well be the superior side at the moment, history has them pretty even, in fact. Of the five ties, both can boast two victories and one draw. All five games here have come in the 21st Century, though. And all in the Champions League too, naturally. If the five matches were aggregated, the score would be nice and even… Six apiece. So the record books can’t really help us to predict this one all that much...
As you know, friendlies aren’t easy to predict. There’s little information to pick at. Other than the teams. And for our money? Looking at the quality of the two starting elevens? We have to oppose the obvious prediction and back Inter Milan here.
Now, then. Maybe you want to take the favourites here. But - as you can imagine - they ain’t the choosiest of odds. In fact, at best priced 8/11, we can’t knowingly recommend Bayern Munich at all. Inter, at 4/1, are value, but who wants to oppose the German champions? If you fancy Bayern’s stars to want to impress new boss Carlo Ancelotti, here’s an idea: Bayern to win on the handicap. -1. Or, if you’re feeling brave, -2 goals.
But… Looking at the predicted starting teams? Bayern are weakened. And Inter are strong. Alright, they lost to PSG the other day, but 4/1? That’s our star bet here.