World Football Challenge – July 19-July 26
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Four of the top football teams in the world will battle it out in the World Football Challenge held in the USA. European powerhouses AC Milan, Chelsea, Inter Milan and North American representative Club America will play in this off-season competition.
The European clubs in this competition have had to deal with many off-season moves and each team will be vastly different then last season. AC Milan has had a tough off-season losing Kaka and having fans protest their lack of bringing in any big stars. Chelsea has not changed that much, but they are dealing the Manchester City and their persistent meddling in trying to pry away captain John Terry from the club. Inter Milan recently made a huge deal that will change the makeup of their club, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic moves to Barcelona while Samuel Eto’o will be playing at San Siro next season. Club America is one of the best teams in Mexico, but is coming off a disappointing season where they finished in the middle of the table.
In the first game of the challenge Club America and Inter Milan played to a 1-1 draw, as Juan Carlos Silva Maya scored for America in the 51st minute and Inter knotted the score with Ivan Cordoba goal. America fended off Inter’s attack in the 2nd half even though they were playing a man down with a red card.
Here is the schedule for the World Football Challenge:
July 19 – 7 PM EST – Club America – Inter
July 21 – 11 PM EST – Chelsea – Inter
July 22 – 7 PM EST – Club America – Milan
July 24 – 8 PM EST – Chelsea – Milan
July 26 – 5 PM EST – Inter – Milan
July 26 – 7 PM EST Chelsea – Club America
The lone representative from North America has a lot to prove this season in the Mexico Primera division, as they are one of the big 4 from Mexico City. They will challenge Chivas and Guadalajara all season long and a good showing in this competition will give them a ton of confidence. They only finished in the middle of the league last season and they need to play better this season. Striker Salvador Cabanas and fullback Oscar Rojas are their best players, but do they have enough firepower to stay in the same class as the biggest clubs in the world?
This challenge is a chance for Chelsea to get ready for another tough Premier League season. Unlike Arsenal and Manchester United they have not lost any big name players, yet. The first match against Inter will certainly be a draw with Inter manager Jose Mourinho facing his old team. New transfer Daniel Sturridge already scored in the US in a friendly and he has a lot of expectations this season, as Chelsea looks to unseat Manchester United as Premier League champions.
Inter will unveil new players Diego Milito and Thiago Motta and Ricardo Quaresma and Mario Balotelli will also be looking to play well in front of their head coach. Inter has done all they can in Series A and they look to do well in the Champions League this season. This competition is a great chance for them to see how they are doing before the season. Milito has to prove he can fill the shoes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
AC Milan not only lost Kaka, but also head coach Carlo Ancelotti and Paolo Maldini to retirement. This is a new era in Milan, but they are still solid with the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho. They just signed US national player Oguchi Onyewu and he may play in the last couple of matches in this challenge. They have question marks with their defense and their strikers, but if they play poorly in this challenge they may feel pressure from their fans to sign a big name or two before Series A starts.