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Three talking points ahead of Real Madrid vs Eintracht Frankfurt

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Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

The first clash of the new season stands a day away from Real Madrid, as they get ready to take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup. With the game comes the opportunity to secure the first silverware of the season, a chance the team will look to capitalise on.

To see the glory, however, Carlo Ancelotti’s men will face a stern test. The German club were not dubbed amongst the favourites to win the Europa League but pulled off upset after upset to win it all.

Their most notable result was an emphatic 4-3 win over Barcelona in the Quarterfinals. Oliver Glasner’s held the Catalans to a 1-1 draw at home before decimating them at Camp Nou.

Ancelotti will have a full-strength squad at his disposal at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. While the team should be confident of getting the better of the Bundesliga side, overconfidence can be fatal on the night.

1. Carlo Ancelotti’s strange decision

Last week, it was reported that the Real Madrid manager was against using the new signings for the UEFA Super Cup. Ancelotti wanted the same team that won the UCL to clinch the cup in Helsinki in what was a strange but understandable decision.

While it is not confirmed whether the decision is final, one could well expect Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni to start on the bench against Eintracht Frankfurt.

David Alaba and Eder Militao will thus start in central defence with Ferland Mendy deployed at left-back. In midfield, Casemiro will start as the pivot with the experienced Luka Modric and Toni Kroos placed ahead of him.

2. A new chapter for Karim Benzema

Benzema has become a bonafide legend during his decade-long spell at the club. His importance in the team has grown leaps and bounds over the past two seasons after he took over as the primary goalscorer.

Yet, there are always new avenues to explore, and Benzema stands in front of one. Following Marcelo’s departure, the Frenchman was named the first captain of the team. The game on Wednesday night will be the first game under his full captaincy and possibly the first trophy too.

While he has held the armband before on multiple occasions, he was Marcelo or Sergio Ramos’ deputy.

On an individual level, the veteran will look to keep up with his astronomical standards. Benzema has always been one to step up on the big occasions and produce goals on demand. Needless to say, all eyes will be on him when Real Madrid take on Glasner’s side.

3. The absence of Filip Kostic

Not having Kostic is a huge blow for Frankfurt. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Last season, Filip Kostic was Eintracht Frankfurt’s best player by a country mile. The 29-year-old played as a left-midfielder for the German club and was the primary creative outlet for his team.

In 31 Bundesliga appearances, he scored four goals and provided nine assists for his side last season. In the decisive quarterfinal game against Barcelona, he delivered two goals and an assist at Camp Nou to knock out Xavi’s side.

However, the midfield star will not play against Real Madrid this week. Juventus are prepared to complete the 29-year-old’s signing,, and the deal is already in its final stages.

Because of his imminent transfer, Glasner left out Kostic from his squad for the Super Cup. Needless to say, this comes as big news for Los Blancos as they will now face an opposition devoid of its best player.

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Three talking points ahead of Sevilla vs Real Madrid

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Real Valladolid was far from convincing. They may have been the more effective side, but the Merengues were far from being the better team against Andoni Iraola’s men.

Saturday brings with it the team’s penultimate game of the campaign as Real Madrid take on Sevilla. The Andalusian side have not been impressive in La Liga this season but have always been one to turn up against the big teams. Tomorrow’s game is expected to be no different.

Carlo Ancelotti is expected to make drastic changes ahead of kickoff, especially given the incomplete squad travelling for the game. Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Sevilla vs Real Madrid.

1. Final game on the road

The 2022-23 season has flown by in the blink of an eye. It may have been a rocky campaign and could have ended with better results, but there is a feeling that the squad has a lot to take away from the season as it is.

From the highs of completing a special Copa del Rey comeback win over Barcelona to the lows of losing three successive Clasicos, the men in white have seen it all. As the season now approaches the curtain-closing phase, Carlo Ancelotti and his men will be eager for a strong finish.

Sunday night will see the Merengues‘ final away game of the season as they travel to Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan to take on Sevilla. The 2021-22 champions have not had the best of seasons on the road in La Liga this season and a statement finish would go a long way in boosting the morale.

Sevilla have been far from their best this campaign domestically. Though they are well placed to taste glory in the UEFA Europa League once again, they languish in tenth place on the league standings with just 13 wins in 36 games.

Los Blancos boast a fine record at Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan and are unbeaten at the stadium in their last eight appearances. Their last defeat at the venue came back in 2018, and the objective tonight will be to extend the aforementioned streak.

2. Tchouameni’s point to prove

Point to prove. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

As much as Aurelien Tchouameni’s initial months at the club were called paradise, the Frenchman has not had life easy at Real Madrid in his first season.

The Frenchman initially stepped in as a more than able replacement for Casemiro in the middle of the park. His astute reading of the game and defensive awareness made him a monster in midfield and his position in the starting lineup appeared safe.

Tchouameni’s situation, however, took a steep turn after the FIFA World Cup. Coming back from a fatiguing World Cup and a minor niggle, the defensive midfielder no longer found his name on the starting lineup as he became second fiddle to Eduardo Camavinga.

The entry of Toni Kroos as an option for the pivot role further reduced the Frenchman’s involvement.

The youngster thus has a point to prove on Sunday night. He is expected to start at the Ramon Sanchez Pijzuan and will look to orchestrate the team’s play from deep in midfield whilst holding the fortress simultaneously. After all, it could be his final chance to prove his worth ahead of the new season.

3. Only three forwards

Real Madrid’s squad list only names three forwards making the trip to Seville to take on Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side – Rodrygo Goes, Eden Hazard, and Alvaro Rodriguez.

The manager does have a fourth option in Federico Valverde and could look to mix and match his options on the night. However, Carlo Ancelotti maintained a low profile on the starting lineup ahead of Sunday’s clash, especially when asked about Eden Hazard’s chances of participating.

Given that it is the team’s penultimate game of the season, Ancelotti could well look to start all three pure forwards on the night. After all, each has their own special reason to participate.

For Hazard, the game against Sevilla could well be his final away game in a Real Madrid shirt. The Belgian is reluctant to leave the club at the moment, but everything could change in June if he begins to attract interest.

In Alvaro Rodriguez’s case, tomorrow’s game presents itself as an audition to seal a place in next season’s dynamics. The youngster has impressed whenever given the chance so far and will look to keep his high level going.

Rodrygo Goes, arguably, needs the game the least of the three candidates. Yet, with Ancelotti publicly asking him to take more prominence, he has a point to prove.

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