Chelsea vs Barcelona predictions and betting tips for the Rakuten Cup preseason tournament on 23rd of July 2019. The Europa League holders take on the Spanish champions in Japan.
Chelsea have endured a mixed preseason thus far. One win from three against the likes of Bohemians, St Patrick’s Athletic and Kawasaki Frontale is underwhelming. However, this has been a period of readjustment for the club with Frank Lampard taking the helm at Stamford Bridge amidst the ongoing transfer ban.
Chelsea’s early preseason opponents have not been of the highest calibre and as such Chelsea have rotated heavily. Senior players such as Willian and Kepa Arrizabalaga are yet to feature but could be set to play a part against Barcelona. This is Lampard’s first real test as Chelsea boss, so don’t expect to see Kenedy featuring in defence again.
In stark contrast to the West Londoners, Barcelona have spent a lot of money on signings this summer. Frenkie de Jong, Neto and Antoine Griezmann have all arrived at the Camp Nou over the summer and could each make their debuts against Chelsea. This will be the Catalan side’s first preseason game so match fitness could well play a part.
On paper, Barcelona posses the stronger squad and will be expected to win but as always with preseason, several additional factors must be considered. Predicting a winner in these matches can be especially difficult with European giants such as these, but what can be expected are goals.
Despite a 0-0 final, the Asia Trophy averaged 2.5 goals a game, whilst the International Champions Cup has averaged 2.8 goals per game from the opening seven fixtures. These competitions may be a good indicator given the calibre of teams involved. Over 2.5 goals looks a good bet. We would even go one step further and back over 3.5 goals given each team’s new attacking arrivals.
Sticking to the goals scored theme, backing both teams to score in a preseason friendly of this nature is usually a good bet and should offer some value.
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