Manchester United and Real Madrid will face each other in the first important match of the season – UEFA Super Cup. The two clubs have had very contrasting pre-seasons. Will it end up affecting their performance in the clash on Tuesday?
Football fans the world over are geared up for the big clash on Tuesday – UEFA Super Cup in which Manchester United face reigning La Liga champions Real Madrid. The two popular clubs have had very contrasting pre-seasons. Does that give us an insight to what is going to happen in the clash on Tuesday?
The English side finished the summer tour of the United States, Norway as well as Ireland with decent performances as fans got a glimpse of what awaits. New signings Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic have proven manager Jose Mourinho right by delivering good performances in the matches so far. Another joinee Victor Lindelof has, however, drew criticism after he gave away a penalty to Real Madrid in their pre-season friendly.
Mourinho’s side will look to turn tables after a lackluster domestic season and they look confident after starting their pre-season campaign with a 5-2 victory over LA Galaxy. They then conquered Real Salt Lake where Lukaku scored his first goal for the Red Devils.
With boosted confidence, United started their International Confederations Cup with a 2-0 derby victory that saw the new signing from Everton, Lukaku, score again, giving United hope of a positive season ahead. The Europa League champions finished sixth in the Premier League table last season.
United then met Champions League winners of last season in which they managed to defeat Los Blancos on penalties. Their only defeat in the pre-season came from Barcelona, who were then blessed with Neymar magic.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, have had an unpleasant pre-season in the absence of their star striker Cristiano Ronaldo, beginning with a defeat to United. It was then followed by another dangerous defeat to Manchester City where they lost 4-1 to Pep Guardiola’s men.
If that was not enough for Zinedine Zidane, his men again went down to Spanish rivals Barcelona in a thrilling El Clasico that finished with 3-2. The only respite for the Spanish giants was a match against MLS All stars, which included popular players like Kaka, David Villa, Sebastian Giovinco and Bastian Schweinsteiger. They managed to escape a defeat in the game that went to penalties.
After the El Clasico, the French manager insisted not to read too much into the sad beginning. However, worry ahead of the Super Cup crept in as he accepted this week that something was not right with his boys and they need to ponder on it when they return to Madrid. “The feeling isn’t good,” Zidane said on losing four matches in the pre-season. “There have been good points, but the overall feeling… no. We can’t be satisfied.”
Will Zidane be able to change the pre-season curse and help Real Madrid win their second consecutive Super Cup just the way he led them to their second consecutive Champions League title? Only time will tell.