Real Madrid V Fiorentina, Trofeo Santiago Bernabéu, Santiago Bernabéu, 23rd August 2017
The Trofeo Santiago Bernabéu is a friendly exhibition game played at Real Madrid’s iconic ground towards the start of every new season to commemorate the memory of former club president Santiago Bernabéu. The upcoming game on Wednesday evening will be the 36th such version of the event, and sees Real host Italian side Fiorentina.
This game is usually seen as an opportunity for Real fans to witness first-hand some of the club’s new arrivals, but Los Blancos have been quiet so far this summer, only bringing in youngsters Theo Hernandez from rivals Atletico after his spectacular loan-season at Alavés, and Dani Ceballos, another young player who has arrived with a big reputation, this time from Betis. Expect both to appear in this game at some stage, along with some of Real’s other exciting young talent, most notably Marco Asensio, Marcos Llorente and Lucas Vazquez. It is worth noting, however, that those last three named players have all so far played a part in Real’s fledgling season so far, further increasing the difficulty of predicting a line-up for this game.
The visitors Fiorentina started their Serie A campaign with a 3-0 hammering at Inter, and a mid-table finish looks realistic again this term after La Viola finished eighth in the last campaign. However, this could equally be a difficult season for La Viola and their new coach Stefano Pioli, with six notable departures from the playing staff, including Federico Bernardeschi, Borja Valero, Matías Vecino and Josip Iličić, leading to no fewer than thirteen arrivals, the most notable of whom are Giovanni Simeone from Genoa and Marco Benassi from Torino. The early signs weren’t good of course, but in defence of the team from Florence, Inter are a good side, and the San Siro is not an easy place to visit. Yet it is inevitable with such player turnaround that the team will take time to settle.
Looking back at past meetings doesn’t provide much insight as these two sides have rather surprisingly only ever met once before – a friendly in 2014 which Fiorentina won 2-1. But when focusing on the betting, the first fact to consider is that the home team have won 26 of the previous 35 Santiago Bernabéu trophy tournaments; or single matches as they have more frequently been in recent years.
Odds are currently unavailable for this game with a number of other big games taking place on the same night, most notably in the Champions League when the final qualifying second-leg games will be played, so check for odds nearer the game itself, but we can certainly suggest some logical bets to take.
First of all this is a friendly game so goals should be the order of the day; look to go over 3.5 where available. Stay away from goalscorer markets due to the uncertainty of line-ups, and back a Real Madrid win but only if the odds provide enough value. It might be necessary to back them on the handicap at minimum -1.5, and then taking Real half-time and full-time completes the set of tips on this particular match.
An exhibition it may be, but an exhibition of exciting football delivered by a vast array of talent is never something to be missed.