Two of Europe’s leading clubs meet in a high-profile friendly tomorrow as Bayern Munich take on AC Milan at the Allianz Arena.
The two teams, who have not met competitively since the quarter-final stage of the 2006-07 Champions League, play in the first round of the 2011 Audi Cup, a pre-season tournament which also features Barcelona and Brazilian side Internacional.
Being played for the second time, the Audi Cup was won by Bayern when it was first held in 2009.
Consisting of two semi-finals and then a final and third-place play-off a day later, the Audi Cup will offer the three European teams the chance to prepare for their domestic seasons against top-quality opposition.
As hosts, Bayern go into the match against AC Milan as 4/5 favourites, with the Italian side priced at 27/10 and a draw at 5/2.
Using only last season as a guide, the fact that Bayern are favourites would come as something of a shock.
The German giants limped home in third place in the Bundesliga and failed to make it to the Champions League quarter-finals, losing to Milan’s city rivals Inter in the last 16.
Massimiliano Allegri’s men, by way of contrast, secured the Serie A title by six points over Inter.
However, since then Bayern have spent big to bring in the likes of Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Rafinha to improve their squad.
Significantly, these three signings will improve Bayern’s defensive solidity, which proved their Achilles’ heel last season.
Top-scorers in the division, Bayern let in more than a goal a game, making theirs only the fourth-best defence in the Bundesliga.
Given this, it appears likely that both sides will score in the game, with odds of 67/100 available on this to be the case.
With Bayern’s players also likely to be closer to full fitness than their AC Milan counterparts – with the Italian side having played just one friendly this summer – the indications are that Bayern will make it through to the final.
Odds of 8/1 are available on Bayern Munich to edge the match 2-1, with a successful £25 free bet on this eventuality, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, set to return £225.
New customers can register here to claim a £25 free bet.