Date: August 2, 2014
Venue: Emirates Stadium – London, England
Kick-off Time: 14:00 BST
The first game of the Prediski Cup or famously known as Emirates Cup will be played between two past European giants, Valencia CF and AS Monaco. The two day tournament will provide much needed match practise against good opponents for all the four teams involved.
Valencia have a decent side, but for past 2-3 seasons they have lost good players. This season it was influential defender, Jeremy Mathieu who signed for Barcelona. At the club’s managerial level too there has been a change with Nuno Espírito Santo taking charge of the squad from the departing Juan Antonio Pizzi.
Santo has a huge task before him to get the squad together and add some good players before the La Liga starts. Emirates Cup is a good opportunity for him to showcase his work on the squad till date.
Monaco’s preseason form has been impressive. Even after losing star player, James Rodriguez to Real Madrid they have played really good. The forward line of the silky Dimitar Berbatov and the industrious Valere Germain, has been explosive. Still there’s Radmel Falcao who will be waiting to explode with Monaco.
Previous season’s manager, Claudio Ranieri was replaced with Leonardo Jardim who will be looking to stamp his style on this Monaco side.
Valencia: Nicolas Otamendi
After Mathieu’s departure, Otamendi looks to get in the Valencia side. The Argentine defender was signed from FC Porto last January but was surprisingly loaned to Athletico Mineiro.
Expecting him to start and provide much needed defensive solidity against the Monaco attack.
Monaco: Dimitar Berbatov
Age might be just a number for this Bulgarian striker. Joining Monaco last year during the January transfer window, he slotted in perfectly in the center forward position.
Along with Rodriguez, he scored some ridiculous goals and was pivotal in Monaco’s late title assault. This season he might have to take a subdued role due to return of Falcao.
Monaco start favourite for me, and you should only take a bet of $2.4 with Boylesports because any lower than that isn’t value.