Real Madrid and Manchester United meet at the Philip II Arena in Skopje, Macedonia, with kick-off scheduled for 7.45pm BST on Tuesday, August 8.
Manchester United and Real Madrid are aiming to start this season how they ended the last; by winning a trophy. The Champions League and Europa League winners face off in Macedonia on Tuesday as Jose Mourinho goes up against his former club. United will be vying for only their second Super Cup triumph, in their fourth attempt, while three-time winners Real are gearing up for their sixth outing.
Mourinho will be hoping to guide an English team to victory in the showpiece event for the first time since Liverpool in 2005, with United and Chelsea losing three matches between them since. Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last 10 competitive games against English opposition.
Before edging out Real on penalties, Manchester United had already claimed three straight wins in the US, beating LA Galaxy 5-2, Real Salt Lake 2-1 and neighbours City 2-0. They completed that competition with a 1-0 loss to Barca but have since crushed Valerenga 3-0 and beaten Sampdoria 2-1, so they should be more up to speed and in good spirits.
Major signing Romelu Lukaku and hot prospect Marcus Rashford have been among the goals up front, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan has contributed three from midfield as he looks to kick on this term. Nemanja Matic made a surprise start for Manchester United against Sampdoria on Wednesday, just two days after joining from Chelsea, so will be in contention to feature in Macedonia. Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera will likely line up alongside the Serbian, Jose Mourinho could use the 3-5-2 system which he implemented a lot in games during the pre-season but Jose Mourinho could well use some of his second string with United’s Premier League opening against West Ham just four days later.
On the other hand, Real Madrid completed their tour of America by drawing 1-1 with an MLS All Stars XI, before this time prevailing on penalties, but they have generally looked off the pace in pre-season. As well as going down to United in a Santa Clara shoot-out, Real Madrid were beaten 4-1 by Manchester City and lost 3-2 to Barcelona in the US tournament.
“The tour has not been great in general,” admitted Zinedine Zidane. “We did some good things but the feeling is bad because we played four games and struggled.”
Cristiano Ronaldo will surely be short of fitness after sitting out the whole trip, while Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema failed to get on the scoresheet, so Zidane has much to ponder. Madrid may also have one eye on an upcoming Spanish Super Cup clash with arch-rivals Barca 5 days later, so I feel they’d feature a lot of their B players.
Head-to-head: Man Utd 1-2 Real Madrid, Real Madrid 1-1 Man Utd, Man Utd 4-3 Real Madrid, Real Madrid 3-1 Man Utd.
Prediction: Manchester United 1 vs 3 Real Madrid
Article By: Oluremi Oladeji