Gear up football fanatics! 2017-2018 season is about to have its biggest match yet as Manchester United lock horns with Real Madrid for the UEFA Super Cup. Zidane’s Galacticos won the Champions League last season, becoming the only team to retain the title in Champions League era. On the other hand, Mourinho’s Red Devils won UEFA Europa league last term- the first time the newer European Championship got in their trophy cabinet. Both sides met each other in pre season where United were victorious on penalties.
There was a time when this fixture hyped football fans all around the globe like no other game. English pride vs Spanish dominance. They have faced each other 10 times where Madrid came on top 4 times, United winning twice and the game being drawn 4 times. It was often a case of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. The teams met for the first time in 1957 in European Cup. Real Madrid won 3-1 that time. Last time the teams played each other in UEFA Champions League in 2013,where United again were on the losing side scoreline being 1-2. Time has seen best players being switching between these sides with the likes of David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo heading for Santiago Bernabéu from Old Trafford. Angel di Maria was the latest star to make a switch when he joined United from Madrid in 2014.
A point to prove for Manchester United
Times have changed drastically for Manchester United since Sir Alex Ferguson left. The club is no more feared by the opponents like it was before. Managers have come and gone, attempting to rebuild the team. The Red Devils are no longer a fixture at big European games, returning to Champions League football this season via Europa League triumph after missing it the last season. Under Jose Mourinho United have been accused of playing boring football which has induced many drawn games. Jose will be looking to answer his critics by starting this season strong with a win over his former employers.
Key player- David de Gea- who infamously was just a fax away from being a Real Madrid player himself, will be crucial for Manchester United. He is arguably the best goalkeeper in the world right now and will be having added responsibility of keeping a dangerous Madrid attack at bay, as Eric Bailey- United’s beast at the back is suspended for this game.
More of the same for Madrid
The best football team in the world? Most people will answer Real Madrid. Zidane’s men have earned the praise they get, dominating all over globe and claiming success in domestic league and cups too. They won their 33rd La Liga title last season and successfully defended their Champions League crown too. They have arguably the best midfield in the game with Toni Kroos dictating the game along with Modric and Casemiro. The frontline is not bad too with four times Ballon dor winner Cristiano Ronaldo and his partner Karim Benzema. Zidane will be hoping his team hits the field running and if that happens, there’s no stopping Real Madrid.
Toni Kroos- the German maestro is the engine of his team and a great reader of the game. He controls the tempo of the game and shreds the opposition with pin point accurate passes. He will be a target for Manchester United’s new man Mastic, who his likely to make his debut.
Manchester United- David de Gea;Antonio Valencia,Lindelöf, Smalling, Blind; Herrera, Matić, Pogba; Rashford, Lukaku, Mkhitaryan.
There’s a fair gap between the quality of both teams and if Real Madrid play to their potential, they will easily defeat Manchester United. However, games are not won on paper and Manchester United will be tricky customers. If the trio of Pogba, Herrera and Matic breaks the midfield down then United will have a chance. Real Madrid are expected to take away this one with a 3-1 scoreline.