Audi Cup: Semifinals Preview

Preseason-Audi Cup

Our football writer previews the Audi Cup semifinals which take place on Tuesday.

The fifth edition of the Audi Cup is upon us and three-time champions Bayern Munich will be looking to defend their crown against Napoli, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid. Two enthralling encounters on Tuesday will see two teams book their spots in the final and the other two settling for the competition’s third and fourth place play-off. The big question is who will progress to the next stage of the competition? Let's take a look.

Tuesday 1 August

Atletico Madrid 14/10 | Draw 47/20 | Napoli 7/4
With the FIFA transfer ban being imposed on them, Atletico Madrid have to make do with last season’s squad. The team has played only one preseason friendly thus far - a goalless draw against Toluca from Mexico so it’s fair to say compared to other European giants their preseason is off the pace.

After finishing third in the Serie A last season, Napoli will be looking to boost their confidence by winning this preseason tournament. They’ve played four friendlies since the end of last season and have absolutely trounced the sides from the bottom tiers they’ve rubbed shoulders with. They demolished Anaunia 17-0, thrashed Trento 7-0 and clobbered Carpi 4-1. Napoli's recent friendly was against a Seria A side Chievo and it ended in a 1-1 draw. This should be a tight affair with the draw looking a likely result. 

Bayern Munich 5/10 | Draw 33/10 | Liverpool 17/4
The hosts and defending champions have had a fine preseason with Carlo Ancelotti managing to test his various combinations against some of the biggest teams in Europe, such as Arsenal, AC Milan, Chelsea and Inter Milan. Bayern has lost two of those games in regulation time and one on penalties and their only victory came in regulation time against Chelsea. The results may suggest that the Bavarians are in trouble but it was due to the coach trying to rotate his squad, giving everyone a run out ahead of the new season. The arrival of new signing, James Rodriguez, who is on loan from Real Madrid has given Ancelotti a selection headache and it will definitely result into various tactical tweaks.

Liverpool have won all their three preseason matches so far scoring seven goals in the process. Mohamed Salah has quickly gelled with his new teammates and early signs show that he will form a dangerous combination with Philippe Coutinho. The only area of concern should be the defence as I still believe they need a proper left-back and an experienced centre-back. This will be a high tempo game with Liverpool tipped to come out on top.  

Written by Benedict Ngwenya for

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