When it comes to the combination of glamor and glory few teams can match FC Barcelona as one of the dominant marquee brands in global soccer. Yet if there is a team that can share top billing with FC Barcelona it would be AC Milan. Although AC Milan had fallen beneath its normal winning standards the arrival of new manager Gennaro Gattuso began to change the imitative.
Gattuso posted 16 wins, 10 draws, and just eight losses after taking command. As a result of the turnaround Gattuso got a contract extension.
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2018 International Champions Cup AC Milan vs. Barcelona
Date and Time: Saturday, August 4, 2018, p.m. 8 ET
Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
2018 International Champions Cup Betting Online Odds at BetCris: Check Back Later
AC Milan vs. Barcelona TV Coverage: ESPN2
Levi’s Stadium is the home of the National Football League San Francisco 49ers and was opened in the summer of 2014. The seating capacity of Levi’s Stadium is 68,500 and it was built at a cost of $1.3 billion. Levi’s Stadium has already hosted a Super Bowl, college football games and bowls, an outdoor National Hockey League game, and international soccer matches.
Mixed Results for Barcelona in ICC
Barcelona began International Champions Cup competition with an impressive shootout win over Tottenham Hotspur, one of the top clubs from the English Premier League. Barcelona bolted out to a 2-0 lead at the 29-minute mark but were then unable to hold off a charging Spurs team that rallied to tie the match with goals at the 73 and 75-minute marks. However, in the penalty session Barcelona was able to recover and prevail 5-3. Barcelona held a slim 52% possession advantage and was forced into making four saves while Tottenham Hotspur made three saves.
Roma Roars Past Barcelona
Barcelona’s second ICC match against AS Roma was among the most entertaining of the tournament so far. AS Roma scored a 4-2 win in a back and fourth game that would make anyone a soccer fan. Barcelona collapsed in the second half as Roma scored goals at the 78, 83, and 86-minute marks to prevail. What was most disappointing for Barcelona was that they held a 70% time of possession advantage and forced Roma into making five saves.
Shootout Marathon Wears down AC Milan
For AC Milan the International Champions Cup has been an exercise in frustration and futility. Their first match against Manchester United set the tone for their ICC experience. AC Milan and Manchester United played to a 1-1 draw before United scored a 9-8 win in the penalty session. Milan carried the play with a 59% possession rate but United created the far greater number of chances. Manchester United forced Milan to make nine saves while having to make only three stops themselves.
Coming Up Empty
AC Milan showed obvious mental and physical fatigue in their second ICC match against Tottenham Hotspur in which the Spurs prevailed 1-0 with a goal at the 47-minute mark. Tottenham held a decided advantage of possession with 56% although Milan forced the Spurs into making five saves.
What to Watch for and Expect in this Match
Milan simplified their playing style after Gattuso took over and with great results as they went undefeated in their first ten games under his leadership. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is elite and among the best in the world. Barcelona is a joy to watch as they teach their players an incisive passing style from their earliest stages in youth football. Problematic is that Barcelona is missing many top players such as superstar Lionel Messi and goal keeper Marc Andre ter Stegen.
AC Milan vs. Barcelona Free Picks
AC Milan is better than they have shown and should be expected to show pride against such a top name brand but one missing its leading assets.
AC Milan vs. Barcelona Pick: Bet the money line on AC Milan
AC Milan vs. Barcelona Score Prediction: AC Milan 1, Barcelona 0
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