The First Division A starts in Belgium this week, but before that there are some European giants involved in the ICC friendly tournament. Here are my tips.
Unai Emery has only managed Arsenal for two games but he’s already playing the club he worked for last season. He’ll have most of his first choice players available, which isn’t the case for PSG. Usually I’d back the French side, except they lost 3-1 to Bayern last weekend and are still without Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani. I expect the Gunners to win here.
Match Tip: First Half with Most Goals
Mr. Predictor’s Verdict: Arsenal 2 v 1 PSG
Benfica drew 2-2 in their last ICC game with Dortmund and went on to beat the Germans on penalties. They have had a good pre-season, with two wins and two draws in 90 minutes so far. Juventus have only played the once and that was a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich. I’m tempted to back the Old Lady but I can’t ignore Benfica’s form and the fact they are further down the road in their training schedule.
Match Tip: Both Teams to Score
Mr. Predictor’s Verdict: Benfica 1 v 1 Juventus
This will be Chelsea’s second game under Maurizio Sarri, and the Italian will be facing familiar opposition here after his Napoli side drew 0-0 twice with Inter last season. The Nerazzurri have played four friendlies already this summer, but only won one of those. They drew with Sheffield United last time out, so I think Chelsea can beat them.
Match Tip: Under 2.5 Goals
Mr. Predictor’s Verdict: Chelsea 2 v 0 Inter
Reigning champions Club Brugge begin their title defence having gone undefeated in pre-season and having beaten Standard Liege in the Super Cup last weekend. AS Eupen won all four of their summer friendlies but lost 14 of their 20 away league games last season, winning only once. I’m backing the champions, and I can see goals here too.
Match Tip: Over 2.5 Goals
Mr. Predictor’s Verdict: Club Brugge 3 v 2 AS Eupen
Lokeren were unlucky not to reach the Europa League play-off final last season as they lost to Zulte-Waregem on penalties in the semi-final. They come into this game after three defeats in a row and are up against Genk, who beat Zulte-Waregem in the play-off final and won all seven of their warm-up friendlies. This is an Away Win.
Match Tip: Genk Win
Mr. Predictor’s Verdict: Lokeren 0 v 1 Genk