Hi gang! Now that the AFCON is over, I’m returning my attention to domestic football. Here are my thoughts on the big friendly games on Saturday and Sunday.
Manchester United 1 v 1 Inter Milan – Saturday 20 July – Friendly – Both Teams to Score (1.60)
United have started their pre-season preparation well with back-to-back wins, although those were against Perth Glory and Leeds United. They’re facing tougher opposition this time in Inter Milan, who are led by former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. He won his first match in charge against Lugano and I think Inter will give the Red Devils a hard time here. I’m backing a Draw.
Newcastle 1 v 2 West Ham – Saturday 20 July – Premier League Asia Trophy – West Ham Win (2.00)
Both of these sides conceded four goals in the semi-finals on Wednesday, so this is an opportunity to regroup and improve ahead of the new season. Newcastle haven’t won any of their last six friendly games and lost both of their games against West Ham last season. The Irons have won three of their last five friendlies and I think they will beat the Magpies here.
Wolves 1 v 2 Manchester City – Saturday 20 July – Premier League Asia Trophy – Both Teams to Score (1.60)
Wolves won easily against Newcastle on Wednesday. They were 3-0 up by half time and I didn’t really think that they were tested. Beating City will be a harder challenge, though. Pep Guardiola’s team won the Premier League Asia Trophy in 2013 and came back from a goal down to beat West Ham 4-1 in the semi-finals. I think Wolves can get a goal here, but I expect City to win.
Bayern Munich 1 v 2 Real Madrid – Saturday 20 July – Friendly – Over 2.5 Goals (1.50)
I thought Bayern would be better in their friendly against Arsenal earlier this week, but they lost 2-1 and lacked intensity. This could be the same, especially since Real Madrid haven’t played a game yet in pre-season. I think we can expect some goals here. Last season Real Madrid played three games in the ICC, all of which saw Over 2.5 Goals. It’s been the same in their last four games against Bayern, too. They’ve only lost one of those four matches, so I’ll go for a Real win here.
Juventus 1 v 1 Tottenham – Sunday 21 July – Friendly – Both Teams to Score (1.60)
Neither of these sides have played any friendlies so far this summer so I don’t expect either of them to be up to standard. Juventus fans will get a glimpse of their team under Maurizio Sarri, and new signing Adrien Rabiot should be involved. They didn’t win any of their final five games last season, while Spurs only won one of their last five matches. I see a Draw.