Benfica and Juventus are set to square off in a big day of International Champions Cup action this Saturday. Juventus made a big splash this offseason with the acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Italian club is hoping that he can be the piece that finally unlocks the Champions League puzzle. They have dominated Serie A this decade, but a Champions League title has eluded the club as they finished runners-up twice in the past few seasons.
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 Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 28, 2018. Catch every moment of the match live on ESPN2.
International Champions Cup Betting at BookMaker.eu
Over/Under 2.5 and 3
On Wednesday, Benfica became the first team to knock off Borussia Dortmund at the International Champions Cup. Dortmund had defeated Premier League sides Manchester City and Liverpool prior to their match with Benfica and looked set to go to a 3-0 in the tournament. Maximilian Philipp put Dortmund ahead 2-0 in the 22nd minute, and the German club took that lead into halftime.
However, Benfica had other plans. Andre Almeida cut the lead in half shortly after the break and then Alfa Semedo knotted the score at 2-2 after a couple wonky deflections led to him getting the ball in space, and he was able to coolly finish from there. There is no extra time in the ICC, so the match went to penalties. Benfica came out on top 4-3 in penalties, securing the victory.
Juventus capitalized on some defensive mistakes to knock off Bayern Munich in their ICC debut on Wednesday night. A poor decision by Sven Ulreich gave Juventus the ball with no one in net to stop them, and a quick pass led to one of the easiest goals Andrea Favilli will score. Favilli was able to capitalize a few minutes later too when Bayern’s defense was too high. Juventus was able to loop a ball over the back line and that gave Favilli the ball with just Ulreich to beat. He showed no nerves in coolly beating the keeper in a 2-0 Juventus victory.
Interestingly enough, after the match Juventus announced that Favilli would be loaned to Genoa following the team’s run at the ICC. Favilli is only 21, so being loaned out to a fellow Serie A side will help him grow, and he is seen as having a bright future.
Benfica Player to Watch
Pizzi was able to set up Benfica’s first goal against Dortmund on Wednesday, and he is one to keep an eye on in this match. He has been one of Benfica’s standout players for some time, and the central midfielder is in the prime of his career. His passing has been pivotal to Benfica in their continued run of domestic success in Portugal, and he figures to play a big role in their Champions League Qualifying match against Fenerbahce.
Juventus Player to Watch
Wojciech Szczesny has some big shoes to fill this season. Szczesny is replacing the indomitable Gianluigi Buffon as Juventus’ goalkeeper, and it’s never easy to replace a legend. He looked pretty sharp in limited action during the team’s 2-0 win over Bayern Munich, but he was a bit shaky playing for Poland at the World Cup. His play will be very important this season, as the club does not have a quality back-up and invested heavily in its offense this offseason.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
The under might be a good bet in this match. Nearly all of Juventus’ attackers did not join the team in America, and Benfica was a bit fortunate on one of their goals. There won’t be that many great chances in this match.
International Champions Cup Odds: Juventus 1, Benfica 1
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