ICC Tournament: Bayern Munich-AC Milan Preview: Freunde

Milan are playing their first official, televised friendly of the season as they open their International Champions Cup by facing our old friends, Bayern Munich. It almost seems like a summer tradition, as we have often faced one another in the Audi Cup each summer. But this year, we meet in the United States. Freunde.

Mr. Bigtime

Bayern are very different to Milan these days, as they won their 29th Bundesliga title this year. They have also participated in the Champions League for the past ten years consecutively, and have won the competition five times, including three years straight in the 1970s. They are even playing their final game of the ICC Tournament as Milan are playing their first. Maybe it’s less of a friendly and more like The Odd Couple.

Their most recent match was Saturday, when they defeated Real Madrid 3-1, despite ending on ten men. For this, their second ICC match, Kovac started a 4-1-4-1 with Neuer; Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez, Alaba; Thiago; Arp, Tolisso, Sanches, Coman; and Müller. Subs included Ulreich, Süle, Goretzka, Zaiser, Pavard, Singh, Davies, Gnabry, and Lewandowski. Ulreich is the one who was sent off, so we won’t see him on Tuesday. Additionally, Theo Hernandez’ brother, Lucas, who just transferred to Bayern, was not called up for this tournament as he is still recovering from a knee injury.

Milan have been on life support for a while, but once again are showing signs of resuscitation under our new ownership and management. This match also marks the first match under new coach, Marco Giampaolo. I think Giampaolo may be a little starstruck, as he didn’t travel like this or face such a successful club with Sampdoria. Or Empoli. Or Cremonese. Or Brescia. Or Cesena. Or Catania, Siena, Cagliari, Ascoli, Treviso, Giulianova, or Pescara. To say that he has a lot to prove would be an understatement.

After losing to Arsenal, Bayern beat Real

He has called up Antonio Donnarumma, Gigio Donnarumma, Plizzari, Reina; Calabria, Conti, Gabbia, Hernández, Musacchio, Rodriguez, Romagnoli, Strinic; Biglia, Bonaventura, Brescianini, Calhanoglu, Capanni, Krunić, Daniel Maldini, Mionic, Suso; André Silva, Borini, Capone, Castillejo, Cutrone, and Piątek. However, André Silva has already said his farewells and left the team’s base camp in Boston to fly to Monaco, where he is expected to complete a €30m transfer. Giampaolo is expected to roll out his signature 4-3-1-2, as it is reported to be the only formation he has tested in training so far.

Happy not to have to face his brother?

These friendlies are as much about exposure to new fans as they are about football. While it gives Giampaolo an opportunity to give nearly all of the players some playing time against players that Milan aren’t likely to be facing this summer, it is hardly an indication of how we’ll play when Serie A kicks off. It’s truly a friendly, and it will be entertaining to play it against our freunde.

This post inspired by the music of Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”

Our next match is a friendly
Bayern Munich vs. AC Milan
Tuesday, July 23 • 8pm CDT (9pm EDT)
Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.

ICC Tournament: Bayern Munich-AC Milan Preview: Freunde ICC Tournament: Bayern Munich-AC Milan Preview: Freunde Reviewed by Elaine on 11:54 PM Rating: 5
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