AC Milan v Chelsea – US Bank Stadium at 02:00 live on Chelsea TV
It’s the final International Champions Cup match for both of these clubs who have had mediocre campaigns heading into the new season, as AC Milan will be taking on Chelsea at the US Bank Stadium on Thursday.
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AC Milan have only won one game so far in this ICC, and that was against Bayern Munich on penalties after drawing 3-3. Yet, Vincenzo Montella’s last match ended in a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool with 18 players getting a run out in California.
The Italian giants currently sit seventh in the ICC table, but a win could jump them up to second depending on other results.
Before this competition took off, Milan only played one friendly against Bordeaux which they won 2-1; Suso grabbing both goals in the first half. Even after this tournament Montella has another friendly lined-up against German club Freiburg eight days before their Serie A season starts.
Montella has a squad of 26 that he has used throughout this summer tournament, including key players Luis Adriano, Keisuke Honda and Gianluigi Donnarumma, yet Carlos Bacca remained in Milan due to fitness reasons.
In recent seasons, AC Milan have struggled to hit the heights that they once were at, especially in European competitions. Now they have a strong squad, but can Montella get them back into the top five.
Chelsea meanwhile have been hit and miss in the ICC this season. They beat Liverpool 1-0, yet lost 3-2 to Real Madrid most recently in Michigan; Eden Hazard coming off the bench to score a brace for the London club.
Much like Milan, a win on Thursday could take Chelsea up to second if other results go their way.
This will be Antonio Conte’s fifth friendly, with one more lined-up against Wolfsburg three days later, before their season kicks off on the 15th of August. So far, they have only won two matches and have conceded five in their last four.
Conte has made it clear that Diego Costa will not be featuring due to an injury while Mikel Jon Obi is currently with the Nigeria squad for the Rio Olympics.
Chelsea will be looking to put last year behind them and push on for European football for the following season. They have enough quality to challenge for the title, but the main focus will be keeping the big players fit and keeping morale high.
The last time these two sides met was in the 2013 ICC where Chelsea won 2-0. In their last five meetings Milan have only won one match, losing twice, but, they have not met in a competitive fixture since 1999.
Overall, I am looking at a Chelsea win for this one. Milan have a good squad, but I think the tactics of Conte and players available will be able to see-off the Italians and secure three points for the west London club.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Chelsea -0.5 @ 1.90 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage
Prices correct at time of writing.