All eyes in the soccer world on Sunday will be on the lone International Champions Cup match of the day as Italian side Inter Milan takes on Portuguese powerhouse Benfica from the home of the NFL’s New England Patriots. The club from Lisbon is favored on the Soccer Odds.
AC Milan vs Benfica 2019 International Champions Cup Lines & Prediction
- When: Sunday, 3 PM ET
- Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
- TV: ESPN2
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
- ICC Lines: Benfica +129 / AC Milan +183 / Draw +254 (Total 2¾)
Two sides have never met in this competition and haven’t in any major event since the Champions League in 2007. AC Milan won the first leg 2-1 and then the drew in the second leg 1-1.
Why Bet on AC Milan?
AC Milan opened their preseason tour at the International Champions Cup with a 1-0 loss on Tuesday to German power Bayern Munich. Leon Goretzka scored late in injury time in the first half for the only goal. Milan had several chances in the second half, the best of which likely when Patrick Cutrone was through one-on-one with Sven Ulreich only to be denied by the goalkeeper.
The match was Milan’s first since head coach Marco Giampaolo took the helm as Milan parted ways with Gennaro Gattuso at the end of last season. Some bad news in the match as, the Rossoneri’s new signing Theo Hernandez was forced to leave the pitch on a stretcher after sustaining an injury to his ankle following a run down the flank.
Tests have ruled out any fractures to his ankle, though he’s suffering from a sprained right ankle. Most likely, he will be rested for the Benfica clash on Sunday. Hernandez was purchased on loan from Real Sociedad earlier this month. Over his professional career, he has made 69 appearances in the Spanish Liga, 3 in the UEFA Champions League, 16 in the Copa del Rey and one in the Spanish Super Cup. Hernandez is the youngest defender with at least 50 appearances in the Spanish Liga since 2016/17.
If Hernandez sits here, he could be replaced by Andrea Conti. He replaced Hernandez on Tuesday in an unnatural position at left-back. Conti was serviceable, though, showed he can go forward and didn’t make too many mistakes defensively. The starting lineup Tuesday was a mix of established players, players on the fringe of the starting XI, youth and new players, with Krzysztof Piatek, Hakan Calhanoglu, Fabio Borini, Lucas Biglia, Samu Castillejo, and Davide Calabria the familiar faces.
- 99-G. Donnarumma
- 22-M. Musacchio
- 20-I. Abate
- 68-R. Rodríguez
- 13-A. Romagnoli
- 10-H. Çalhanoğlu
- 14-T. Bakayoko
- 79-F. Kessié
- 11-F. Borini
- 19-K. Piątek
Why Bet on Benfica?
With 82 major trophies won – 83 including the Latin Cup – Benfica is the most decorated club in Portugal. It won the Primera Liga again last year after a slow start, dumping manager Rui Vitoria in favor of Bruno Lage.
When Benfica won 2–1 in The Classic on March 2, Lage already equaled Vitoria’s 3 wins out of 16 matches against rivals Sporting and Porto. From matchday 16 to 34, Lage went on winning 18 league matches and drawing 1 to claim his first major trophy, Benfica’s 37th league title. With a 94% winning percentage, he surpassed Jimmy Hagan’s record at Benfica and achieved Primera Liga’s all-time best second round: 49 points. In addition, he equaled Sven-Göran Eriksson’s 1990-91 feat of beating Porto, Sporting, and Braga away in the same season.
Swiss striker Haris Seferović led the league in goals last season. Raúl de Tomás, Pizzi, Gedson Fernandes, Jota, and Andrija Živković round out a terrific young attacking unit. Benfica defender Ruben Dias has been linked with a move to Premier League outfit Wolverhampton Wanderers. However, Benfica reportedly won’t sell their 22-year-old star for a penny less than his £59 million release clause.
Benfica opened this tournament with a 3-0 win over Chivas Guadalajara on July 20. An early first-half goal from Raul de Tomas set the Portuguese club on their way before Rafa and Haris Seferovic added goals three minutes apart in the second half to seal the result. De Tomas made his move to Portugal earlier this summer and has wasted no time in getting up and running. He has three goals this preseason.
Then on Wednesday, Benfica beat Fiorentina 2-1 as Caio came off the bench late in the second half and scored the stoppage-time winner. The Portuguese side dominated the opening 10 minutes of the match, scoring the opener in the 9th minute through star striker Seferovic, who was assisted by summer signing de Tomas.
- 99-O. Vlachodimos
- 3-Álex Grimaldo
- 6-Rúben Dias
- 97-Francisco Ferreira
- 71-Nuno Tavares
- 61-Florentino Luís
- 14-H. Seferović
- 9-Raúl de Tomás
Expert Final Score Prediction for AC Milan vs Benfica
Score: AC Milan 1 – Benfica 2