Barcelona v Man Utd – Thu 9:30am AEST

This will be the Red Devils 5th match of the season and they are yet to taste defeat. They posted comfortable wins in friendlies over LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake and have brought that winning form with them to the ICC. They opened with a 2-0 win over cross town rivals Man City before edging out Real Madrid in a scrappy penalty shootout. Barca meanwhile were in first gear in their win over Juventus with a Neymar wonder goal stealing the show. Barca could have scored 5 and that will certainly have caught the attention of Mourinho.

Man Uts have been very effective in wide areas with Martial, Lingard, Rashford and Mkhitayan all showing glimpses of brilliance – especially on the counter. The Wolf cannot see Mourinho’s men maintaining possession for long stretches and we are likely to see them play almost exclusively on the counter. As the new manager of one of the world’s biggest clubs, Valverde will be very eager to make a winning start to his Barcelona tenure. The Wolf is expecting game time for all of the regular starters which should see an abundance of goal scoring opportunities.

The goals have been flowing like confetti throughout this tournament and this game should be no exception. Barcelona have conceded in all of their prior 8 ICC matches with United scoring in all but one of their 8 games. In may be early to judge but there is a much better tempo to the Red Devils attack and The Wolf says with both teams having something to prove this match will be very competitive. Both teams will find the back of the net but the class of Barca should see them prevail.

Best Bet: Both Teams To Score ($1.50)
Value: Over 2.5 goals & Barcelona ($2.35)

PSG v Juventus – Thu 10:30am AEST

The Trapp sending off ruined what was shaping as an epic between PSG and Tottenham. Now with just days remaining until they face Monaco in the Super Cup we should see Unai Emery put out an almost second string line up. With a long trip back to Paris and the opportunity at an early season trophy there will be no risks taken by the PSG coaching staff.

It leaves the door wide open for Juventus and they will walk right through it. Juve have three fixtures and then a whole week off prior to the official start to their season and there is no doubt that Allegri will use the matches to get his entire squad fully fit. They looked a much better side in the second half against Barca once Higuain, Dybala and Pjanic took the field. The two names to take note though are Douglas Costa and Alex Sandro. They looked formidable down the left side and The Wolf expects the Brazilian duo to again be given a significant amount of time on the pitch together.

With PSG expected to field a weakened lineup The Wolf says to back Juve early and to keep backing them!

Best Bet: Juventus WIN ($2.10)
Value: HT/FT – Juventus/Juventus ($3.40)

Man City v Real Madrid – Thur 1:00pm AEST

City were heavily exposed on the counter by Man Utd and they will have to lift their intensity levels if they are to avoid another defeat. Both sides started their respective matches with close to full strength starting sides but neither were able to show the goal scoring prowess they have been renowned for over the years.

Real Madrid are undefeated in 4 matches against City and with both sides having a run in their lest we should see them return to thoroughbred status for this one. City have never performed well at the ICC and have conceded multiple goals in 5 of their last 6 in this format. They have had noticeable problems at the back since Guardiola took over and they are yet tot solve them. Fernandinho started at left back against United alongside Kompany, Walker and Adarabioyo. A repeat of that will see them humbled!

Best Bet: Over 3.5 goals ($2.15)
Value: 1st Half Over 1.5 goals ($2.30)

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