It will be a rematch of the Europa League Semifinals when Atletico Madrid and Arsenal meet on Thursday in Singapore. Atletico Madrid was able to get the edge on Arsenal the last time around, stifling the Gunners with their defense in order to make it to the Europa League Final where they knocked off Marseille to make Spain double champions once more. That kept Arsenal out of Champions League action this season, relegating them to another Europa League campaign. A win for Arsenal wouldn’t do much to assuage those hard feelings, but it would make new manager Unai Emery happy.
The International Champions Cup brings some of the top clubs in Europe to cities around the world that normally don’t get to see top flight football. The match will take place at Singapore National Stadium in Singapore at 7:35 a.m. ET on Thursday, July 26, 2018. Catch every moment of the match live on ESPNU.
International Champions Cup Betting at BookMaker.eu
Atletico Madrid +182
Over/Under 2.5 and 3
What to watch for
Emery comes to Arsenal from Paris Saint Germain, and he is ready for a new challenge. The Gunners’ performance has slowly tailed off over the last decade, and he will be looking to lead them back into the top four this season. It will be a tall task. Arsenal has not spent like some of its other Premier League rivals, but the hope is that a breath of fresh air in the managerial role will help.
The Gunners will be bringing quite a few of their starters and contributors from last season to Singapore. Aaron Ramsey, Alex Iwobi, Mesuit Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Petr Cech, and Alexandre Lacazette played big roles last season, and all will be joining the club in Singapore. Additionally, new signings Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, and Matteo Guendouzi are set to make their debuts.
Diego Simone is happy to add another trophy to Atletico’s mantle. The club has been extremely competitive over the past five seasons, but they have been overlooked by many because they play in the same league as Barcelona and Real Madrid. Still, Atletico was able to finish second in La Liga last season, and that has many excited that they can potentially compete for a domestic title once more.
Many of Atletico’s stars will not be joining the team in Singapore. Antoine Griezmann, Diego Costa, and Thomas Lemar will not feature and that will deprive the club of their top offensive options. However, Jan Oblak, Juanfran, and Vitolo will be with Atletico in Singapore.
Arsenal Player to Watch
Mesut Ozil made headlines over the weekend by declaring that he will no longer be playing for the German national team. He issued a statement saying that he has been harassed by fans and high-ranking members of the German federation due to his Turkish heritage. Ozil received an unfair amount of criticism for Germany’s failures at the World Cup, and it’s hard to fault him for taking this step. His decision has led to a dialogue that has been a long time coming. Ozil will likely want to get back on the pitch with league play starting up in a few weeks.
Atletico Madrid Player to Watch
New addition Antonio Adan will be someone to keep an eye on for Atletico Madrid. Adan was a goalkeeper for Real Betis last season, and Diego Simone added him to be the primary back-up for Jan Oblak. Oblak is seen as one of the top goalkeepers in the world, and he has received a lot of attention internationally after racking up clean sheets last campaign. Adan will want to have a good showing in his debut with Atletico.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
The under and draw are both good options in this match. Many of the offensive options for both clubs will not be on display in Singapore, while the first-choice goalkeepers will be making the trip. That should lead to a relatively low scoring match.
International Champions Cup Odds: Atletico Madrid 1, Arsenal 1
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