Champions League winners Real Madrid will look to clinch their second successive Super Cup title when they meet Europa League holders Manchester United at the Philip II Arena in Macedonia on Tuesday. The La Liga champions had a tough ride on their pre-season tour of the United States after they failed to win any of their four outings. Meanwhile, Manchester United performed far better with five wins in seven games in an extended tour which included games in Norway and Ireland. Putting on paper, Los Blancos have far more experience in Europa than their England counterparts, but the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo significantly decreases the attacking threat posed by the Capital outfit.
Probable Lineup – Manchester United
Jose Mourinho has opted to go with the three-at-the-back formation but he will be without the services of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones due to two-match European suspensions. David de Gea is the outright starter at United. Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof and Daley Blind were utilised as part of the back three versus Sampdoria in Dublin, and Mourinho could stick with the similar 3-5-2 setup.
This facilitates playing the likes of Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian in the right wing-back and left wing-back roles respectively thus providing a sound defensive base which suits Mourinho’s style of play. With Nemanja Matic in the ranks, Paul Pogba could be offered a free role with Ander Herrera likely to get the nod over Marouane Fellaini to complete the midfield.
With United due to face West Ham four days later, Mourinho is unlikely to risk some of his attacking talents, and this could see the safe approach with Marcus Rashford playing alongside Romelu Lukaku. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata and co. could come in to change things up in the second period.
Probable Lineup – Real Madrid
Zinedine Zidane’s side almost pick themselves as they do not have the depth in terms of quality as United. The French head coach is likely to deploy a 4-2-3-1 formation which facilitates Benzema playing as the lone striker. Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane will take up the centre-back duties with Dani Carvajal and Marcelo occupying the right and left-back spots respectively.
Casemiro and Luka Modric will take up their regular positions at the centre of the park with Toni Kroos just ahead of them in attacking role. Isco adapted so well on the right side of the attack, and he will remain there with a slightly out of form Gareth Bale getting his chance on the left wing. As written earlier, Benzema will definitely lead the line for Los Blancos, now that Alvaro Morata is no longer in their ranks.
Getting to their substitutes, Marco Asensio could be one player to watch for after his impressive spell with Spain at the European Under-21 Championships where he bagged a hat-trick against Macedonia.
Image – Getty