Milan will open their International Champions Cup friendly campaign with a tough fixture against German champions Bayern Munich at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City on Wednesday.
2018/19 was by all accounts, a relatively underwhelming season for Die Roten. The Bavarians did win the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal as expected, but it didn't come easy for them. Bayern managed to recover from a shaky start in the second half of the season and they went on to win the league after a major improvement in form. They also struggled in the Champions League, failing to beat eventual champions Liverpool in both legs as they crashed out at the round of 16.
This doesn't compare to the recent misfortunes of Milan though. The Rossoneri found themselves in the top four of Serie A for a good portion of the season before a loss of form towards the end meant they had to settle for a Europa League place. After the departure of Gennaro Gattuso, Milan's troubles went from bad to worse as they were excluded from the Europa League due to a breach of FFP regulations.
Check out 90min's preview of Wednesday's clash below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Wednesday 24 July|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||02:00 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Children's Mercy Park|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Premier Sports 1|
Bayern centre-back Jérôme Boateng will not be in contention as the German has left the tour to return to Munich for "private reasons". New acquisition Lucas Hernandez didn't travel with the Bayern squad to the United States after undergoing knee surgery and is still recovering.
As for Milan, Ivan Strinic and Mattia Caldara are still out with ankle and cruciate ligament injuries respectively. André Silva has reportedly left the Milan camp to join Monaco and almost certainly will not appear for the Rossoneri next season.
Giacomo Bonaventura was included in the squad after his long-term injury last season but is not expected to be available until August, while Franck Kessié was not included in the squad presumably due to his recent involvement with the Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations.
|Bayern Munich||Neuer; Kimmich, Süle, Martinez, Alaba; Alcantara, Gnabry, Tolisso, Goretzka, Coman; Lewandowski.|
|Milan||Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Çalhanoğlu, Biglia, Brescianini; Suso, Piątek, Castillejo.|
Head to Head Record
Bayern and Milan last came to blows in 2017's version of the International Champions Cup, which saw the Rossoneri thrash Die Roten 4-0 in China. They also met in 2016's International Champions Cup, in a match that ended in a 3-3 draw.
Given Milan's poor fortunes recently, every meeting between the clubs over the last decade has been in a friendly competition. The last time they faced each other competitively was in the quarter-final of the Champions League back in 2006/07, where Milan beat Bayern 2-0.
Over their last five meetings, the Rossoneri have won twice, Die Roten have won once and it ended all square on two occasions.
It's been a mixed bag for Bayern Munich so far in this pre-season tournament, with the Bavarians beating Real Madrid but losing to Arsenal. They ended 2018/19 fantastically, however, going unbeaten in their last 14 Bundesliga games.
Milan have played just one pre-season friendly so far, drawing 1-1 against third-tier Italian side Novara. Like Bayern, Milan were in relatively good form for the last few league games, winning four out of their last five in Serie A.
Here's how each team has performed over their last five games.
|Bayern Munich||AC Milan|
|Bayern Munich 3-1 Real Madrid (20/07)||Milan 1-1 Novara (19/07)|
|Arsenal 2-1 Bayern Munich (17/07)||SPAL 2-3 Milan (26/05)|
|RB Leizpig 0-3 Bayern Munich (25/05)||Milan 2-0 Frosinone (19/05)|
|Bayern Munich 5-1 Eintracht Frankfurt (18/05)||Fiorentina 0-1 Milan (11/05)|
|RB Leipzig 0-0 Bayern Munich (4/05)||Milan 2-1 Bologna (6/05)|
Given that this is a friendly competition, it is significantly harder to call than if these sides were meeting competitively, even if there is an obvious difference in quality. Expect this to be a close affair.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 2-1 Milan