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Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Team News and Prediction for Spanish Super Cup Final

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Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images

Real Madrid lock horns with Barcelona in the final of the Spanish Super Cup tonight at Al-Awwal Stadium in Riyadh.

The Los Blancos have all the reasons to be positive, having defeated inter-city rivals Atletico Madrid 5-3 in the previous round. 

Barcelona, on the other hand, showed evident struggle against Osasuna, although they did manage to walk out 2-0 victorious owing to a commendable show in the second period.

Interestingly enough, for Real Madrid, the record European Champions have not lost a game since September 25 when they went 1-3 down against Atletico Madrid in La Liga. Since that defeat, they have won 17 of their last 20 games, including the 2-1 win over Barcelona.

Team News

Real Madrid

The likes of Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, and David Alaba continue their recovery from ACL injuries, leaving Real Madrid without their services. 

Lucas Vazquez is also set to miss his third consecutive match due to a hamstring injury suffered before the recent Copa del Rey win over Aranadina.

Furthermore, despite knocks sustained in the previous match against Atletico Madrid, Eduardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde are expected to be fit for midfield duty. 

Dani Carvajal will be available for selection against Barcelona. (Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images)

Lastly, on a positive note, veteran defender Dani Carvajal, initially a doubt after missing training following the semi-final victory, trained alone and is now available for selection.

Barcelona

As far as Barcelona are concerned, Raphinha sustained a hamstring injury during the victory against Osasuna, rendering him unavailable for the upcoming match. Apart from the Brazilian, Joao Cancelo will also be unavailable for selection.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Marcos Alonso are still in the process of recovering from back surgery while Inigo Martinez and Gavi will be sidelined due to muscle and knee injuries, respectively. Pedri, having recovered from an injury, is someone who can start, having already made a substitute appearance in the semi-final.

Prediction

It is to be noted that since Xavi’s appointment as Barcelona manager, Barcelona and Real Madrid have four wins each in eight outings. Interestingly enough, none of these eight matches have ended without a winner.

Furthermore, Barcelona have also beaten Madrid in the previous year’s Spanish Super Cup final, but it must also be taken into account that the Blaugrana have not beaten Los Blancos in their last two outings. 

Last time out, a brace from Jude Bellingham shattered Barcelona’s dreams despite taking an early lead through Ilkay Gundogan. While this is rightly expected to be a tight contest, we suspect a 3-1 win for Real Madrid.

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Features

Real Madrid’s best lineup next season with Kroos retiring, Mbappe and Endrick joining

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Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

It is set up to be a transformative summer for Real Madrid. After the UEFA Champions League final has concluded and the grand showdown finally has a victor, the Merengues are expected to undergo a squad revamp.

Indeed, the Santiago Bernabeu is preparing to welcome several high-profile signings, while also bidding farewell to some beloved Madrid legends.

Considering the potential arrivals of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, as well as Toni Kroos’ recent retirement, here is how Real Madrid could shape up next season:

Goalkeeper

Having made a long-awaited return from injury, Thibaut Courtois is anticipated to guard Real Madrid’s goal next season once more.

The Belgian goalie has already started featuring in the starting XI and is expected to play against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final, too.

As such, his place for next season is hardly in doubt. However, unlike previous seasons, he will face much fiercer competition from Andriy Lunin, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign.

Defence

Fortifications in the defensive line remain high on Real Madrid’s priority list in the upcoming summer transfer window. However, even with the given options the Royal Whites boast assurance and grit in their back-line.

The likely occupants on the flanks would be Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy, who have both produced great exhibitions throughout the campaign.

Ferland Mendy has the full trust of Carlo Ancelotti. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Carvajal is known to punish defensive lines and on the defensive end, his anticipation of forwards has been equally appreciable.

Meanwhile, Mendy’s resurgence this season has earned him immense faith from the coaching staff, as his defensive aptitude continues to set him apart.

In the centre-back positions, Real Madrid are expected to rely on the dependable figures of Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao.

Real Madrid consider Rudiger to be indispensable owing to his front-footed style and the important role he has had to play amidst the injury crisis. Similarly, Militao is valued by the team as he proceeds to regain match fitness after recovering from a long-term injury.

Midfield

The void of Toni Kroos in midfield will compel coach Carlo Ancelotti and co. to
reconsider their midfield strategy.

Real Madrid will be unable to count on Kroos next season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Thankfully for Real Madrid, their succession stage had begun a while ago and they have ample options to trust in the center of the park.

With Aurelien Tchouameni protecting the base of midfield, Real Madrid will possess security and deep progression.

Ahead, occupying the interior midfield positions, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are well-suited to provide a combination of energy off the ball and threat in possession.

And to put the cherry on top, Jude Bellingham’s place as the number 10 behind the two strikers would certify his status as a pivotal playmaker and scorer in the team’s setup.

However, he is adept at making third-man runs and connecting the midfield with the offence and could play deeper to not only make up for Kroos’ absence but also facilitate more options up front.

Attack

Real Madrid’s offensive department is where the largest reform is expected to take place.

Kylian Mbappe’s goalscoring instincts need little introduction by now and he is thus anticipated to be fielded as the striker.

Vinicius Jr. is expected to take up the position as a secondary striker drifting from the left, something he has become quite accustomed to this season.

Endrick will have to battle for a starting spot. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

It is worth noting that Endrick could also play a part by either replacing Vinicius off the bench and playing off Mbappe.

It remains to be seen how many men forward Ancelotti will commit to but the presence of Mbappe and Vinicius seems set in stone, given their huge profiles and status in world football. How the manager uses Rodrygo Goes will be interesting to see as well.

All in all, considering Ancelotti’s proficiency in profiling players, Madrid fans can expect to see these stars play in favourable environments.

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