Super Cup Success for Real?
The Super Cup in Skopje is the first piece of silverware available for both teams this season. If Real Madrid were to win it they would be the first team to retain the Super Cup since the Arrigo Sacchi managed AC Milan team in 1989-90.
As the competition only began in 1972 Real Madrid have only won the Super Cup on 3 occasions. 2 of those are recent (2014 and 2016), the other being 2002.
Whilst their pre-season has not gone particularly well, they suffered a 4-1 drubbing to Manchester City and a 1-0 defeat to their arch rivals Barcelona. Notably once a trophy appears on the horizon Real Madrid usually manage to turn up and get the job done.
Their squad has changed from last year with Pepe, Fabio Coentrao, Danilo, James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata having all left the club either on loan or permanently. New signings are Theo Hernandez a defender from Atletico Madrid and Dani Ceballos a midfielder from Real Betis.
They have travelled with a full strength squad including Bale, Ronaldo, Modric and Benzema.
Mourinho To lift the Super Cup at last?
Incredibly Jose Mourinho has never lifted the Super Cup as a manger. It still remains the only major trophy too elude him in his managerial career. Added to this is the somewhat acrimonious split of Mourinho and Real Madrid in 2013.
Whereas Real Madrid have struggled in pre-season Manchester Utd appear to have blossomed. They won 6 out of 7 pre-season matches including a win on penalties against Real Madrid after a 1-1 draw. Their only defeat came against Barcelona and was a narrow 1-0 one. They defeated Manchester City 2-0 in the USA tour.
Recently in their European friendlies they have seen off Valerenga 3-0 in Oslo and defeated Sampdoria 2-1 in Dublin.
Manchester Utd have been very active in the transfer market this summer. Their marquee signing was Romelu Lukaku for a reported fee of £90 million. Their other notable signings were the Swedish defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica for £30 million and Nemanja Matic for £40 million from Chelsea.
Mourinho will hope these all hit the ground running. Lukaku and Matic should have no problems as they are both experienced players within the English Premier League. Lindelof and Matic both have experience within the Champions League as well.
Tip of the Day
I can foresee an open game from Real Madrid whereas Mourinho will play his usual tight defensive game. I think he will want to grab this opportunity to complete his trophy collection though and can see his team being slightly more cohesive.
MANCHESTER UTD TO LIFT THE TROPHY - GENERALLY AVAILABLE AT 6/4