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Real Madrid vs Manchester United Preview

Real Madrid and Manchester United go head to head in the UEFA Super Cup
European giants Real Madrid and Manchester United will lock horns in the UEFA Super Cup
UEFA Super Cup | Tuesday 8 August | Philip II Arena | 20:45

Two giants battle it out for the ultimate crown in Macedonia when UEFA Champions League winners, Real Madrid, square off with Manchester United, winners of the UEFA Europa League.

These clubs already met in a pre-season friendly, where the Red Devils came out victorious through a penalty shoot-out. 

Madrid will seek revenge as they look to win back-to-back Super Cup’s after claiming the Champions League trophy for the second consecutive year – becoming the first team to do so. 

United have been ruthless in pre-season, with Jose Mourinho hoping to add another piece of silverware into the Red Devils’ cabinet. 

This promises to be a mouth-watering encounter, but just who will come out on top?

To Win (90 mins)
Real Madrid 19/20
Draw 51/20
Man United 26/10

Real Madrid

It hasn’t been the best pre-season for the European champions, but they have a chance to forget about their poor run as they aim for more success. Los Blancos have suffered three defeats in a row, at the time of writing, losing to some of Europe’s biggest names.

It started with a penalty shoot-out loss to Man United after a 1-1 stalemate at 90 minutes, then a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City, before being humbled 3-2 by their arch-rivals, Barcelona.

Many fans’ biggest concern is that Real Madrid have let many first-team players leave, while they haven’t gone out and replaced them yet. They’ve let go of Fabio Coentrao, Pepe, Mariano Diaz, James Rodriguez, Danilo and Alvaro Morata to name a few.

The only new additions at Madrid have been Theo Hernandez, a quick and powerful left-back, and Dani Ceballos, one of Spain’s brightest young talents. Meanwhile, many reports suggest that Los Blancos will go all-out to sign Monaco superstar, Kylian Mbappe. That still leaves many first team players yet to be replaced – most notably in defence.

However, no matter which player has jumped ship in recent years, Madrid always seem to find a way to success. They’ve got a brilliant manager in Zinedine Zidane who is Galactico through and through. Many coaches have found success at the helm of Real Madrid, but few were legends to the club like Zidane. The 45-year old Frenchman became the first manager to win back-to-back Champions League trophies, doing it in some fashion, beating his former club, Juventus, by a 4-1 scoreline.

Madrid have plenty of players who could hurt United, including former Red Devil, Cristiano Ronaldo, who is reported to be eager to have a run out against his former employers. Cristiano, along with Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, complete the famous ‘BBC’ trio for the Spanish giants. When they’re on form, few teams, if any, can stop them.

Manchester United

Glory, Glory, Man United! The Red Devils have been excellent in their preparations for the new season. They’ve beaten some big guns in LA Galaxy, Real Madrid and local rivals, Manchester City. And, to top it all off, United may have done the best transfer business so far.

They’ve already completed the biggest deal of the window, signing Romelu Lukaku from Everton in a £75m move. It didn’t stop there for Jose Mourinho’s men, they also went out and bought Victor Lindelof, a young Swedish international who has been on United’s radar for some time now.

The Reds have also completed the signing of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea. With Matic in the team, United could get the best out of fan-favourite, Ander Herrera, as well as world-record signing, Paul Pogba.

Matic might be one of the biggest deals for United. If Herrera could man-mark Eden Hazard, the best player in the Premier League, out the game, imagine what he could now do next to the Serbian. And how it would free up Pogba, who desperately needed another holding midfielder in the Man United team.

Up front, United have a fearsome striker in the form of Lukaku. The Belgian fits well into Mourinho’s system and has shown what he is capable of, scoring in three of United’s pre-season games, at the time of writing.

Man United haven’t had the best times in UEFA Super Cup action, winning just one of their three editions, their last title being in 1991. However, with a team full of confidence, Mourinho should feel that he could end the club’s poor run in the Super Cup, and what better way than by beating his former employers. 

Probable line-ups:

Real Madrid: 4-3-3
Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.

Manchester United: 4-2-3-1
De Gea; Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Blind; Herrera, Matic; Mkhitaryan, Pogba, Martial; Lukaku.

Prediction: Man United (+1) Handicap (8/10)
Despite Eric Bailly missing out through suspension, Man United have solid cover in Chris Smalling. The Red Devils are in superb form, and starting the game a goal ahead, may prove to be worth a punt at 8/10. They just look too good and I don’t see them losing the match in 90 minutes. That said, they may even win it. Play it safe and get on the (+1) Handicap on United.

Written by Jesse Nagel. Follow him on Twitter here!