Over the past two decades, the rivalry between Arsenal and Chelsea has heated up significantly. Both clubs are located in London, but only recently has the rivalry become important. For most of their history, Chelsea was a mid-table team while Arsenal was seen as one of the elite clubs in England. Arsenal mostly came out on top when the teams met on the pitch until Roman Abramovich purchased Chelsea. Suddenly, the status quo changed as Abramovich poured money into and resources into the team. Chelsea was no longer the little brother of Arsenal, but a peer and that has rankled the feathers of many old Gunners supporters. That will add some intrigue to the clubs’ International Champions Cup battle across the Irish Sea on Wednesday.
The International Champions Cup brings some of the top clubs in Europe to cities around the world that normally don’t get to see top flight football. The match will take place at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland at 3:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday, August 1, 2018. Catch every moment of the match live on ESPN2.
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Whereas most teams taking part in the ICC ended up traveling to either America or Singapore as part of the event, Chelsea will be playing its three matches on the continent. The Blues played their first match of this tournament in Nice last weekend, and they defeated Inter Milan in penalties.
Chelsea opened the scoring in the eighth minute with a goal from Pedro off of a rebound. They could have had a goal in half of that time, but an Alvaro Morata header ended up being ruled narrowly offside. It was a questionable decision, yet Chelsea kept the pressure up for the rest of the first half and had the better chances into the break. Inter Milan was able to score shortly after halftime, and that eventually sent the game into a shootout after 90 minutes had elapses. There, Chelsea remained true from the spot in order to get the 5-4 penalty win with Cesar Azpilicueta slamming home the decisive penalty.
Arsenal is just coming back to the continent after playing two matches in Singapore on Thursday and Saturday of last week. On Thursday, the Gunners fell to Atletico Madrid in penalties 3-1 after a 1-1 deadlock at the end of full time. In that match, Emile Smith Rowe scored the lone goal for the club, and three Arsenal penalties were stopped by Atletico goalkeeper Antonio Adan.
The club fared much better in their next match, routing Paris Saint Germain 5-1. Arsenal took over in the second half, with Alexandre Lacazette notching a brace to go up a couple goals in the 71st minute. The Gunners scored another two goals after that to give Unai Emery his first win with the club.
Arsenal Player to Watch
The biggest move that Arsenal made last season was signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund for £56 million. Aubameyang flashed in his debut with the club, and he clearly had a connection with former teammate Henrikh Mkhitaryan throughout the last half of the season. He notched 10 goals in 13 games with the club, and all eyes will be on him this year.
Chelsea Player to Watch
Alvaro Morata has been one of the hot names this offseason with Italian and Spanish clubs kicking the tires on acquiring him from Chelsea. The rumors didn’t affect his play last weekend though, as he looked like the best player on the pitch for long stretches against Inter. He will no doubt see action once more against Arsenal.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
This is a great spot to take Chelsea. Arsenal are playing the lion’s share of their starters, but they will be tired and jet-lagged after two matches in quick succession. Additionally, there is a seven-hour time difference between Singapore and Dublin, and that will affect the Gunners too.
International Champions Cup Odds: Chelsea 2, Arsenal 1
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