Real Madrid will step up for their fifth UEFA Super Cup final in the last decade when they lock horns against Eintracht Frankfurt tomorrow. Carlo Ancelotti is seeking to win his second Super Cup with Los Blancos, and will stop at no end to achieve that.
Madrid’s Champions League campaign was topsy-turvy, to say the least. They were often thrown into the deep end, but managed to escape unscathed. Eventually, Vinicius Jr’s goal in the final against Liverpool was enough to help them secure their 14th UCL trophy.
Frankfurt are coming off quite a heroic campaign themselves. Tipped against a few favourites of the competition, like Barcelona, West Ham, and Real Betis, Oliver Glasner cruised to the trophy with a superb game plan, and attacking football.
And while Madrid remain, by far and large, the favourites for the tie, Frankfurt have proven to be Goliaths. Ancelotti must prepare accordingly, and the first step towards that is the starting lineup.
The Italian manager has hinted several times over that the new signings of Aurelien Tchouameni and Antonio Rudiger will not be handed anything on a silver platter despite being important investments.
He has stuck to the lineup that helped him win the Champions League and the big matches in La Liga. Without question that starts with the man who was arguably second only to Karim Benzema for Madrid – Thibaut Courtois.
The Belgian will, we predict, be guarded by a quartet of defenders, led by Eder Militao and David Alaba. Rudiger will probably have to claw his way over one of these two if he wants a shot in the starting XI.
On the right flank, Daniel Carvajal should get the nod ahead of Alvaro Odriozola and Lucas Vazquez, while Ferland Mendy probably takes over responsibility on the left.
With French superstars Eduardo Camavinga and Tchouameni knocking on the midfield’s door, Ancelotti might have a hard time deciding who takes the starting spots.
However, depending on his words last week, we can assume Real Madrid’s Bermuda Triangle starts against Frankfurt. This, of course, is in reference to Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Casemiro.
Karim Benzema has carried on his form from last season into the pre-season, scoring a goal each against Club America and Juventus. He has the chance to lift his first trophy as first-choice Madrid captain, and we highly doubt he’ll let it go to waste.
Much like the Champions League final, Federico Valverde will likely start on the right side of the attacking trio. He assisted the Vinicius’ goal in the UCL final, but more importantly, his relentless pace and pressing will help surpress Frankfurt’s counter-attacks.
The last piece in the puzzle, unsurprisingly, should be Vinicius Jr. The Brazilian has kept himself busy in the pre-season with a ton of interviews, but will be hoping to score another goal in the final tomorrow night.
Vinicius · Benzema · Valverde
Kroos · Casemiro · Modric
Mendy · Alaba · Militao · Carvajal
Real Madrid 1-0 Sevilla: Player Ratings
Following Barcelona’s convincing 4-0 win against Getafe yesterday, the onus was on Real Madrid to reinstate the eight-point gap between the sides as they hosted Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu today.
Lucas Vazquez opened the scoring for los blancos after ten minutes, but the goal was controversially disallowed for a foul on Youssef En-Nesyri in the build-up.
Madrid found it difficult to unlock Sevilla’s defence after that, with the first-half ending 0-0 after just one shot on target from both teams combined.
Madrid started the second 45 with more intent, creating some better scoring opportunities, but were left without success until an unbelievable effort from Luka Modric scathed the post and went in.
Sergio Ramos put in a wonderful performance on his return to the Santiago Bernabeu for Sevilla, but it was not enough as Madrid escaped with all three points and an eight-point lead on top of the table.
Andriy Lunin: 8
Was not called into action in the first-half, and was pretty much faultless in possession. But made an incredible save off Romero’s effort in the second half and was extremely proactive collecting crosses, too. Game-changing.
Lucas Vazquez: 7
Did a good job overlapping and was unlucky that his goal was disallowed. Did well to deal with Romero and Ocampos defensively.
Antonio Rudiger: 6.5
Rudiger was lucky that Romero and En-Nesyri did not convert their efforts from close range, as he often left space in behind. Went up to attack with the score at 0-0, too, but came back fruitless.
Was substituted off after 75 minutes after an mostly average display. Again, lucky that he was not punished for the space he left behind.
Ferland Mendy: 7
A few decent moves for Mendy today, but for the most part, his inability to overlap properly gave Vinicius too much to do.
Federico Valverde: 8
By far the most active midfielder today, Valverde was everywhere. Ran the show for Madrid, both in possession and stopping counter attacks before they even started. Missed the easiest chance of the game, though.
Aurelien Tchouameni: 6.5
Did his job as the 6 well, kept the game ticking and kept finding the spare man in midfield. Moved back to the defence eventually, and came away with a clean sheet.
Toni Kroos: 7
With Madrid struggling to break through Sevilla’s defence, Kroos was tasked with a lot of deep progression. Created some tame chances here and there, but failed to find properly find a man through.
Brahim Diaz: 7.5
Kept Kike Salas and Ocampos on their toes, making some tremendous solo runs from deep, but was often left without support. Created a brilliant chance for Valverde, that was scuffed.
Did not take many risks in possesion, but was crucial in Vinicius and Brahim finding space on the wing by offering support.
Vinicius Jr: 7.5
With the Sevilla defence looking very organised, the onus was on Vinicius to create something out of nothing. He attempted a few different things, including flicking the ball over players and attempting shots from distance, but all unsuccessful.
Has to be credited for the effort, though, especially with the rest of the team lacking.
Luka Modric: 8.5
Super-sub Luka Modric coming in clutch for Madrid today with his wonder goal from outside the box. Was also brilliant in possession, increasing the tempo of the game.