Real Madrid face Athletic Club in Saudi Arabia on Sunday night, playing out the final of the Spanish Super Cup.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side recorded their third consecutive victory in all competitions (since returning from the mid-season break with a 1-0 defeat to Getafe) to reach the final, recording a 3-2 extra-time win in a brilliantly exciting Clasico against Barcelona.
To lift the trophy on Sunday night, the current La Liga leaders will have to overcome a notoriously staunch Athletic Club side who beat Atletico Madrid to reach the final. Here’s how Los Blancos could line up.
Thibaut Courtois (GK) – Consistently showing his class this campaign and is deservedly the undisputed number one of the biggest club in the world.
Lucas Vazquez (RB) – Dani Carvajal has tested positive for Covid-19 so will be out of contention for this one, leaving the door open to Vazquez.
Eder Militao (CB) – Was nowhere near the standard he’s showcased for the large majority of this season against Barcelona, but will undoubtedly start once more.
Nacho Fernandez (CB) – David Alaba’s hamstring problem will likely keep the Austrian out once again, so Nacho should fill in as he did for the semi-final victory.
Ferland Mendy (LB) – So capable of being an outrageous full-back but blows hot and cold far, far too much. Needs to step up on Sunday.
Casemiro (DM) – One of the best anchoring midfielders in world football, the Brazilian will hope to put in a typically composed and assuring performance in the final.
Luka Modric (CM) – Worked tirelessly and was a rare flash of class behind the forward line for Los Blancos last time out. Ancelotti will surely be thinking about fatigue but Modric should start here.
Toni Kroos (CM) – Federico Valverde’s dynamism could be utilised against a resilient and stoic Athletic Club side (especially after his heroic extra-time winner in the semi-final) but, despite his bizarrely uninfluential performance against Barca, Kroos will likely start again.
Rodrygo (RW) – Marco Asensio was pretty uninspiring on Wednesday night, so Rodrygo could get a shot up top.
Karim Benzema (ST) – Registered another goal and assist in a pretty standard talismanic performance in El Clasico last time out, increasing his season’s tally to 23 goals and nine assists in 26 appearances across all competitions. Simply ineffable.
Vinicius Jr (LW) – Benzema’s partner in crime, Vinicius has been phenomenal all season. It’s safe to say he’s now arrived in a Real Madrid shirt and, my goodness, is he announcing it.