The most prestigious Pre-Season game in European Football kicks off at The A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn, Estonia. The UEFA Super Cup sees the UEFA Champions League winners square off against the Europa League Champions and this time around we have a Madrid Derby in Estonia to determine who’s Europe’s elite. Julen Lopetegui’s Real Madrid or Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid?
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 14, 2018
Ideally, Real Madrid would be going into this game as favorites but with a new manager and the team now entering “The Post-Ronaldo” era may make some Madridistas nervous. Atletico Madrid have been aggressive in the Transfer market and have made some really clever signings. Diego Simeone will be looking to give Real Madrid a run for their money.
Real Madrid: The Los Blancos have lost the star player and record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo and Manager Zinedine Zidane (now former) in the space of 2 months. To add to their woes, World Cup Golden Ball winner Luka Modric is reportedly pushing for a move to Inter Milan. 21-year-old defender Jesus Vallejo was expected to make an appearance for the Los Blancos but the Spaniard is out with a Muscular Injury. It would be interesting to see how new Manager Julen Lopetegui sets up this Madrid side.
Predicted XI: Navas | Marcelo, Ramos, Varane, Carvajal | Casemiro, Kroos, Isco | Asensio, Benzema, Bale
Atletico Madrid: The Los Rojiblancos, on the other hand, seem a much more settled side when compared to their rivals. Diego Simeone’s tactics are imprinted in almost each and every Atletico Player and the Europa League Champions will be looking to exploit Real Madrid’s vulnerabilities. There are no Injury concerns for Atletico but the French World Cup-winning duo of Lucas Hernandez and Antoine Griezmann arrived only on Monday and could still be fatigued. New Signings Gelson Martins and Thomas Lemar are expected to be handed their professional debuts.
Predicted XI: Oblak | Luis, Giminez, Godin, Juanfran | Rodri, Koke, Saul | Lemar, Costa, Martins
Real Madrid- Gareth Bale
MARCA: This is Gareth Bale’s moment. For the first time since his 2013 move to Real Madrid, the Welshman will be playing outside of Ronaldo's shadow and will hope to lead Los Blancos to the UEFA Super Cup title. Julen Lopetegui has built his attack around Bale during pre-season. pic.twitter.com/LmgZ2tcreY
— RMadridHome (@RMadridHome_) August 14, 2018
All the focus will be on Gareth Bale. The Welshman is immensely talented with blistering pace and immense potency in front of Goal, Lopetegui would be banking on Bale to be his main man for not only this game but rest of the Season.
Atletico Madrid- Diego Costa
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) August 15, 2018
With Antoine Griezmann expected to be on the bench post-his vacation, Diego Costa would be Atletico’s key player. Costa is one of the most dangerous strikers in World Football. The Spaniard will be hoping to dominate proceedings inside the penalty box and also help new boys, Gelson Martins and Thomas Lemar, acclimatize to the Club.