Inter Milan (+225) vs Paris Saint-Germain (+100), Draw (+260)
Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon, will do its best Parc des Princes impression this Sunday when it plays host to Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan as part of the International Champions Cup (5:00 PM Eastern).
Both teams made a few moves in the offseason and have lofty ambitions for the upcoming year. Inter Milan are vying to end Juventus’ domination in the Serie A. But the goal-challenged squad will need to be more aggressive if that’s going to happen. They managed just 50 goals in 38 fixtures last year when they finished fourth in the table. The three teams that finished above them (Juventus, Napoli, and Roma) all scored at least 75.
Unfortunately, the offense could potentially take a step back this year. Leading scorer Mauro Icardi, who has been spotted in London, is on Arsenal’s radar. The English club is reportedly willing to spend a huge chunk of change to land the Argentinean striker, and Inter haven’t ruled out selling him on the transfer market.
Inter management is making efforts to add Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado (currently with Chelsea) to the roster, but nothing is official yet and Barcelona are also in on that hunt. If Inter do land their man, Icardi’s transfer will become all the more likely.
Paris Saint-Germain will have an entirely new look this season with Zlatan Ibrahimovic now in the EPL and Unai Emery taking over head coaching duties. Emery won three straight Europa League titles with Sevilla and he’s looking to bring similar European success to PSG. Emery knows that the Parisian fans won’t be satisfied with merely a fifth consecutive Ligue 1 title.
Without Ibrahimovic on the team, the manager will need to develop an entirely new attack. Ibra scored 44 goals in 47 appearances last year, fully half of the team’s 88 tallies on the year.
Aging Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani (17 goals in 39 appearances) will be asked to step up and become the team’s main playmaker. More will also be expected from Angel Di Maria (13 goals in 34 appearances).
Di Maria won’t be in the starting 11 on Sunday, but Cavani and Icardi are expected to be, and both sides should field pretty strong lineups.
These teams met in a friendly in Qatar last December with the French side winning 1-0. PSG aren’t going to be the same team they were last year sans Ibra, but should still have enough firepower to top their low-scoring Italian counterpart.
Pick: PSG (+100).
(Photo Credit: Tigerzen (Own work) CC BY-SA 4.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)