Match: Real Madrid vs Manchester United
Competition: UEFA Super Cup
Stadium: The Phillip II Arena, Skopje (Macedonia)
Date & KO Time: Tues 8th Aug 17 – 1945 BST
Where can you watch it? – BT Sport 2
The winners of the Champions League is up against the winners of the Europa League to see who will walk away with the prestige of the UEFA Super Cup Trophy. This is a title that Manchester United has only won once before beating Red Star Belgrade 1-0 at Old Trafford in 1991. Liverpool, Aston Villa and even Nottingham Forest have won the Super Cup more times; so let’s notch another one to our history.
Real Madrid team news shows that Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale have all travel. This will be Ronaldo’s first piece of pre-season football since he finished playing with Portugal in the Confederations Cup. Bale was a doubt for the match as he picked up a slight ankle injury only 5 days ago, however he has travelled.
Team news is that Bailly is still going to miss out as his suspension was extended for an additional match. Long term absentees through injury are still on the side lines with Rojo, Shaw and Ashley Young. Sergio Romero and Lingard should be in good condition after they were rested and stayed in Manchester for the trip to Ireland against Sampdoria.
Predicted Line Ups
I’ve predicted that Real Madrid will opt to go with a 4-3-3 formation with Kroos & Modric sharing the Attacking Midfield role. The back four and goalkeeper picks itself, as well as Kroos and Modric. Due to the threat Man Utd pose, I think Zidane will opt for a CDM to cover the back four in the form of Casemiro.
If I was Zidane I would be starting with Ronaldo and Bale on the bench and start with Isco and Vazquez. This is due to Ronaldo’s lack of match fitness, and Bale’s ankle still being potentially weak from the training injury only days before. Benzema completing the line up to still have a quality striking outlet.
It’ll be interesting to see if Zidane has bowed to Mourinho’s mind games and starts Bale against his will. I don’t think Zidane wants to start Bale and I don’t think he will, but he’ll have a lot of questions from the post match media to field after the match.
This line up felt a little easier to predict, but we’ll see how far off I am when the team sheets are released.
In goal, I have put Romero in for a few reasons. He didn’t travel to Dublin for the match against Sampdoria and he was the goalkeeper that was used throughout the Europa League to get us into this competition against Real Madrid. Can you imagine the press if Bale & De Gea don’t start in tomorrow’s match?
The back four picks itself with the injuries and bans we have currently. The middle three also picks itself.
Lingard is also fresh from not travelling in the last match, so I feel he will be a starter. Lukaku picks himself, so the only question was the left wing. I couldn’t decide between Rashford and Mkhitaryan, so I’ve gone for Rashford for his pace and crossing ability. He’d give us more width on the left compared to Henrikh, so I’ve opted for Marcus to start over the Armenian.
I think it’ll be a tight affair, especially in the second half with the introduction of Madrid’s star players. I can honestly see Man Utd pipping this one in a 2-1 win with late goals in both halves for United. Real Madrid have been a little slow in the pre-season, whereas Man Utd have looked a little sharper of late.
HT Score Prediction – Real Madrid 0-1 Man Utd
FT Score Prediction – Real Madrid 1-2 Man Utd
It should be a good game, one last match before the season starts proper. Can’t wait for Kick Off! See you all at the Watchalong!