Created on 03-08-2015 at 18:00 PM
The Champions League group stage will be drawn in three weeks time but there will be a touch of European top-flight football on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Allianz Arena in Munich. FC Bayern, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Tottenham Hotspur meet for the fourth AUDI Cup. FCB, Real and AC Milan have a combined total of 22 titles and Spurs have three European titles under their belts as four of Europe’s biggest clubs prepare to battle it out to lift this year’s AUDI Cup.
“It’s an incredible tournament and a good test for us,” declared Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, looking forward to the next two days. With ten days to go before the Bundesliga opener the encounters with the “best teams in Europe is important for our build-up,” added Guardiola, who has already won the Audi Cup twice with Barcelona (2011) and FCB (2013).
Broadcast live to 164 countries
The two semi-finals on Tuesday see Real Madrid and Tottenham play first (18:15) before FCB take on AC Milan (20:45). The two winners contest the Final on Wednesday night after the third-place play-off between the other two teams. The matches will be broadcast live in 164 countries and the Allianz Arena is sold out on both days with the promise of 70,000 plus crowds enjoying a feast of football.
“We’re in a good place,” declared AC Milan’s new coach Sinisa Mihajlovic at the pre-match press conference on Monday afternoon. “We’ve produced some good performances up to now and looked solid. I’m sure we can repeat that in the Audi Cup,” added Mihajlovic. Like FC Bayern, the Rossoneri were on a pre-season tour in Asia with friendlies against Inter and Real Madrid. “It will tough against Bayern,” conceded Mihaijlovic, aware of what his team will face on Tuesday evening.
Real without Ronaldo and Benzema
“It’s important for Real Madrid to win every trophy. It’s not easy but we’re ready for the challenge,” said new Real Madrid coach Rafael Benítez. The Spanish record champions have just returned from an almost three-week tour of Australia and China. Benítez will be without the services of World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo and striker Karim Benzema. Ronaldo is sidelined with a back problem and Benzema has a thigh injury.
The Munich fans will have the chance of a reunion with former Bayern pro Toni Kroos. “He will play,” said Benítez on Monday afternoon after Real arrived in the Bavarian capital. Tottenham Hotspur ended last season fifth in the Premier League under former Argentina international Mauricio Pochettino who has managed the London side for the past year. He is looking to make the most of the match for the team from White Hart Lane: “We’re expecting a tough game as Real are one of the best teams in the world.”