Fresh from defeat in the DFL-Supercup, Bayern Munich will aim to get their preparations for the new Bundesliga season back on track when taking on AC Milan in the 2015 Audi Cup on Tuesday. Bayern came away empty handed from the German season’s traditional curtain-raiser for the third year in succession when going down to DFL-Pokal winners Wolfsburg in a penalty shootout on Saturday. Italian giants Milan are next up, with the victors going onto meet the winners of Tuesday’s other semifinal between Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur and the two losers contesting the third-place playoff earlier on Wednesday.
Tuesday’s encounter could see a first start in a Bayern shirt for the club’s biggest summer arrival Arturo Vidal. Following his move from Juventus last month, the Chilean midfielder made his first appearance off the bench against Wolfsburg and scored the opening penalty of the shootout.
“I felt good,” Vidal said afterward, according to Bundesliga.com. “I'd trained with the team already and I'm pretty pleased with my game. Obviously I'm not pleased about the result because we lost, but it's important for me to be able to get some minutes and to get onto the field as this gets me a bit closer to the team.”
Bayern’s other significant signing in this transfer window, Douglas Costa, also found the target in the shootout in Wolfsburg, as well as playing a big role in Arjen Robben’s opening goal in the second half. But both players could now miss out against Milan, having failed to take part in full training on Monday. Franck Ribery, Holger Badstuber, Javi Martinez and Jan Kirchhoff all definitely remain sidelined.
Bayern’s next opponents also tasted defeat in a penalty shootout in their last outing. In their final match of the International Champions Cup exhibition event, Milan went down to Real Madrid after a goalless draw in Shanghai.
After a woeful 10th placed finish last season, it has been an eventful summer at Milan as the seven-time European champions strive to move back toward their former glories. With that goal in mind, at the weekend it was finally confirmed that president Silvio Berlusconi has agreed to sell a 48 percent stake in the club to Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol. The money, though, has already been flowing at the San Siro this summer.
Under new coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, former Sevilla striker Carlos Bacca and Italian midfielder Andrea Bertolacci have arrived for a combined 50 million euro. And, despite Brazilian forward Luiz Adriano also joining from Shakhtar Donetsk, there remains speculation that former striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic may also make a sensational return to the club. Certainly the ambitions are now high.
“Our goal is to finish inside the top three in Italy, we know it will be difficult, that all the other teams have strengthened their squads but we have also built a strong team, we have signed some important players like Luiz Adriano and Bacca, like Bertolacci,” Mihajlovic said at a press conference on Monday, reports AC Milan’s official website.
“We have been working together a month and we are at a good point. In China, against Inter and Real Madrid, we put in some good performances and I am sure we can do the same here in Munich.”
Kickoff time: 2:45 p.m. EDT
TV channel: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
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