Real Madrid – La Liga Elche and Osasuna draws raise doubts
The second Supercopa de Espana semi-final will see a Real Madrid hungry for silverware face off against an Athletic Club rejuvenated by the arrival of Marcelino as head coach.
Recent draws against Elche and Osasuna have sown the seeds of doubt with regards to this Real Madrid team, raising the stakes even further for Zinedine Zidane who knows that second best is never an option.
The French coach is not expected to make changes to his first-choice side and must seek to control the match while looking to create down the flanks and being wary of the counter.
A year ago in Jeddah, Los Blancos won this competition, overcoming Valencia in the semi-final before beating Atletico Madrid on penalties in what was a key stage of their resurrection under Zidane on their way to winning LaLiga Santander.
This time around, Real Madrid will have Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard available and both will arrive extra motivated. The latter finally wants to play a big part in winning something and the former is keen to end his three-game run without scoring or assisting.
Two Real Madrid players, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo, could have the chance this weekend to equal the club’s most decorated player, Paco Gento, who has 23 trophies, but first, Athletic, with plenty to prove and rested after not playing at the weekend, stand in their way.