The time is almost here as Real Madrid finally begin their season and they do so with a chance to win silverware against Manchester United.
As you know, both teams are in the UEFA Super Cup since Los Merengues won the UEFA Champions League while Manchester United were crowned champions of the UEFA Europa League.
The summer has come and both teams have made changes to their squad as they await to see how things will be when the matches actually matter. Both teams have payed against each other already this year as it ended in a 1-1 draw (with the Red Devils winning on penalties) during a friendly in the International Champions Cup. Now, even though the upcoming trophy isn’t the most important that the teams are fighting for, it’s still a trophy that both teams will really want to win in order to kick-start their season perfectly.
It’s quite difficult to really know the level of either team at the moment since it would be unfair to judge them based on friendlies designed to get their fitness back to where it needs to be while the managers inevitably try new tactics and lineups. Instead of doing that, let’s take a look at some key points for each team as we look forward to the match on Tuesday night.
- Suspensions will hurt
- Jose Mourinho has a strong squad and would have been feeling quite positive that he could end up winning the UEFA Super Cup. Unfortunately, his job has gotten a lot more difficult as Eric Bailley and Phil Jones are BOTH unavailable for the upcoming match due to suspensions carried from the Europa League last season. Is it unfair that a player carries a suspension to the following season? I definitely think so especially when Bailley already missed the Final due to suspension as well.
- Jose Mourinho
- This is a man who needs to introduction whatsoever to the Real Madrid fans and he has shown that, even though he could go off the track a few times, he is a manager that can come out with wins whenever we least expect it. This is not me saying that United are an easy opponent, but rather that we need to be a lot more careful when they have the players plus a very hungry Jose Mourinho in charge.
- Manchester United have added three new players (so far) to their squad and it would not be surprising to see any of them start on the night. Victor Lindelof arrived from Benfica while Mourinho made the squad even stronger with the additions of Romelu Lukaku from Everton and Nemanja Matic from Chelsea.
- My predicted starting lineup
- David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitrayan, Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku
- Ego a little low?
- Real Madrid go into this match after their preseason ends with only one win (on penalties against the MLS All Stars) while they were beaten by Manchester United, Manchester City, and Barcelona. As I mentioned earlier, it’s difficult to judge based on preseason but the squad and particularly Zidane will not be happy with how things played out so far.
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- The Portuguese forward has shown just how important he can be for the team especially towards the end of last season but it is expected that he will not be playing against Manchester United on Tuesday as he only returned to training on August 5. Therefore, it’s predicted that either Lucas Vazquez or Marco Asensio will be taking his place and even though the team will still be strong without him there, it would have been a lot stronger with him in the starting eleven.
- Real Madrid have continued their plan to bring in some of the most promising youth players in the world and have done so brilliantly this season. With some important names such as James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata leaving the squad, they have brought in Theo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid and Dani Ceballos from Real Betis while keeping Jesus Vallejo, Borja Mayoral, and Marcos Llorente after they finalized their loans last season.
- My predicted starting lineup
- Keylor Navas, Daniel Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco, Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema