Real Madrid are set to meet Chelsea in a clash to decide the destination of this season’s International Champions Cup final in Miami, in a match that has a certain intimacy given Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has just departed the Bernabeu for Chelsea, while new Real boss Carlo Ancelotti enjoyed a successful spell in charge of the Blues between 2009 and 2011.
Los Merengues will start the fixture as 2.00 favourites, with the West London outfit 3.10 for victory in Florida and the draw 3.50.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema lead the pre-season scoring charts for Real at present with three goals apiece and both can be expected to start in what should be a relatively committed and full-strength affair for a friendly contest.
Both sides arrive at this juncture yet to be disheartened by defeat in their summer outings and while the Blues have won all their games – whereas Real have shipped a draw alongside their four successes – it’s Ancelotti’s men who have faced the greater quality of opponents.
Chelsea have recorded some convincing wins over Inter and AC Milan in the earlier rounds of this tournament, but previously they’d been gorging themselves on the moderate footballing sustenance provided by teams from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia assembled from disparate parts purely for the purposes of their visits.
Madrid, meanwhile, have been up against sides far more equipped to give them a stern examination, beating opposition of the quality of Paris Saint-Germain and Everton, as well as MLS champions LA Galaxy – in the midst of their own season – who subsequently overcame Juventus in another friendly.
Both sides have found goals easy to come by as they ready themselves for the endeavours of 2013/14 and while Real may arguably be sharper on the basis of having played more matches against higher quality opposition, both sides are likely to trouble the scorers, an outcome which can be backed at 11/25.
Ancelotti’s charges are yet to keep a clean sheet during pre-season, but they’ve been equally tough to stop, with only PSG – who had an impressively parsimonious defence in last season’s Champions League – shipping less than two goals against them.
Chelsea are surely set for a similarly tough encounter and taking the even-money shout on the Spanish giants looks the way to go, with the 4.75 on a 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 victory also worthy of a small play.