Friday, 29 July 2016

Real Madrid vs Chelsea International Champions Cup Match Preview And Prediction - July 31, 2016

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A massively depleted Real Madrid squad didn’t have the best of times in their first International Champions Cup match against Paris Saint Germain on Thursday. They struggled from the start as 18 year old midfielder Jonathan Ikone bagged the opener in the 2nd minute of play. New signing Thomas Meunier then scored a brace before half time to make it 3-0, before Marcelona pulled one back just before the break with a penalty. After that the game fizzled out a bit, resulting in a comfortable win for the Ligue 1 champions.

This was Real Madrid’s first foray into pre-season action, and it ended their 11 match unbeaten streak across all competitions, nine of which they have won and one of which they won on penalties as they pipped Atletico Madrid to the Champions League again.

Chelsea’s International Champions Cup opener went better than their opponents, but it still wasn’t the greatest of starts. A 10th minute goal from Gary Cahill was enough to give Chelsea a 1-0 win over Liverpool, but a shadow was cast over the match as Cesc Fabregas was sent off for a dangerous challenge on Ragnar Klavan 20 minutes before the end of play.

New manager Antonio Conte will have been pleased to get through his first big test as Chelsea manager though, with that win making it two wins and one defeat in pre-season so far.

He also had the chance to see new signing Michy Batshuayi in action for the first time since his arrival from Marseille, and the Belgian international could be in line to start the game against Real Madrid. Chelsea also have Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois with them, and they could make an appearance after being rested for the opener.

Overall, I think Chelsea have the marginally stronger squad for this one thanks to Real Madrid’s comprehensive injury list and the numerous players being rested after Euro 2016. This makes odds of 2.200 for a Chelsea 0.0 Asian Handicap Win look very good value for money, and that’s what I’m backing along with a 2-1 correct score prediction at 10/1.

Real Madrid and Chelsea have each won one and lost one of their two previous meetings.

Chelsea have won 63% of their previous International Champions Cup matches.

Kurt Zouma and Mario Pasalic are out injured for Chelsea, whilst John Obi Mikel has joined up with the Nigeria squad ahead of the Olympics. New signing N'Golo Kante has been left out after making the final of Euro 2016, but Belgian trio Michy Batshuayi, Eden Hazard, and Thibaut Courtois have travelled with the squad. Batshuayi came on as a substitute against Liverpool and could be in line for a start on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Keylor Navas, full back Fabio Coentrao, and Cristiano Ronaldo are all out injured for Real Madrid. Pepe, Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale, Alvaro Morata, Sergio Ramos, Mateo Kovacic, and Luka Modric have all been left out of the squad following their Euro 2016 League exploits too.

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