2018 International Champions Cup Betting Preview

Posted by Derrick Harper on July 17, 2018 in

The World Cup may have just ended and the European season may be a few weeks away from starting, but there is still high-level soccer being played (no, MLS doesn’t count). The 2018 International Champions Cup is just a few days from getting underway. The ICC is the premier pre-season competition for European clubs. It brings together many of the most notable European clubs for a series of pre-season friendly matches, most of which will take place in the United States. So get excited soccer fans.

2018 International Champions Cup Betting Preview

The Format

The format for the 2018 ICC is a little more organized than in previous years. While games will be played in nine different countries, there will only be one set of standings for all 18 teams involved. Most of the games will take place in the United States, although some will also be scattered about Europe, with a couple of games also being held in Singapore.

Regardless of where teams play their matches, they will all count the same in the standings. Also, all 18 teams participating will play a total of three games, so all teams will be on equal footing in that respect. It’s also important to note that games that are tied after 90 minutes will go straight to a penalty shootout. This means there will be no draws, while games won or lost in penalties will be weighed differently in the final standings.

The Missing Pieces

When looking at ICC games from a betting perspective, it’s important to note teams aren’t going to necessarily be playing with their best roster. Players who are injured or could potentially be moving to other teams before the start of the season will likely be left home while they sort through everything. It’s also important to note that players who were part of World Cup squads that played deep into the tournament are also unlikely to play in ICC games, as they will need to get some rest before the season.

Specifically, English teams like Tottenham, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea are all loaded with players from semi-finalists England and Belgium. Those squads will be missing many of their top players during the ICC. Spanish giants like Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Real Madrid are also in the same boat, as all three clubs had several key players from either France or Croatia, the two nations that played in the finals of the World Cup.

The Teams To Watch in the 2018 International Champions Cup

If you rule out most of the English and Spanish clubs from winning the ICC because of their short-handed rosters, the team to watch may be Juventus. It’s unclear if new signing Cristiano Ronaldo will make the trip. There are also a few players likely ruled out because of World Cup duty. However, Juventus is still a traditional power that will be looking to win any tournament in which it participates.

Manchester City is one of the 2018 International Champions Cup Betting favorites.

Bayern Munich is another team to watch at the ICC as a potential winner. Most of the club’s roster came home early from the World Cup, so they’ll be well rested for the ICC and likely to bring their top stars for the tournament. The large German contingent on the squad will also be eager to put a poor summer in Russia behind them and get a winning feeling again heading into the season.

Finally, the one English team that could be a surprise contender is Arsenal. The Gunners had just one player on the England World Cup roster, and most of their players who went to the World Cup were home after the Round of 16. Arsenal also made several high-profile moves early in the offseason. In short, Arsenal will have a strong squad, and new manager Unai Emery will be hoping to put forth a good effort in the preseason to create some optimism among the fan base, so don’t count out the Gunners from having a strong showing at the 2018 International Champions Cup.