Manchester United vs Real Madrid - Preview

Manchester United will face Real Madrid in their first official match of the season. The two teams have met during the pre-season stage in the United States and Real lost in the penalty shoot-out, but nobody read too much into those games when it was all about regaining fitness and getting into the game after the long break.

But tonight's game will be different. The UEFA Super Cup is something that both Jose Mourinho and Zinedine Zidane will be looking at as their first silverware for the season. 

Ronaldo not playing?

Real Madrid's coach, Zidane has said that Cristiano Ronaldo will not be available to play even though he has started to train with the squad. This will be interesting given that Ronaldo has been heavily linked with a move back to United. As a United fan, it will be great if this were true but we all know what happened in the last couple of seasons, and we're glad Mourinho is planning Manchester United without all these hype. 

Whether he will eventually move or not will be secondary to United than to establish a strong team to challenge for titles on all front, after some inconsistent performance ever since David Moyes took over and somehow destroyed the Red Devils' magic. 

A stronger Manchester United

Being a United fan, there will always going to be a bias on this but I have a feeling that this is the squad ready to challenge for titles under Mourinho. With Lukaku, Pogba, Matic, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, there is a feeling that the squad is ready. There are also Herrera, Mata, Lingard,  Martial, and Young, whom I think are great players as well regardless of what others might said about them. 

We have options in our defense as well although some of them might not be fit for the game, but players like Bailly, Smalling, Lindelof, Valencia, Blind, Rojo and Jones, are all above average defenders that are more than capable to support De Gea. 

I think the biggest change compared to last season though is the addition of Matic, which could free up Pogba, to unleash his potential attacking, while Lukaku is a similar player to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with a bit more speed. Rashford is also very quick and has seem to gain much more in confidence and stronger physically. Mkhitaryan finding his footing with the club will be important, and the likes of Herrera and Mata will give Mourinho plenty of options. 


Juan Mata recently talked to media about the gap that is not very big between United and the top clubs...of course, there are those who questioned the logic of Mata given that Manchester United finished sixth last season and only qualified for the Champions League by winning the Europa League. 

“We talk about Real Madrid and we talk about the Champions League winners, which is the best trophy you can win in European football,” Mata said. “They are the ones that everyone wants to beat. They have a great team and won the league in Spain as well. We know how good they are.

“But United have a great history and a great record of titles. We want, sooner rather than later, to be where Real Madrid were last season which is in the Champions League final. We know we are on our way and building a strong team. I think it’s not very big [the gap]. We are talking about the best teams in the world, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich. Manchester United is there.”

Probably not a lot of people buy into that, so the first game of the season would be important, in my point of view, to give the players the confidence they need, and also to silent the critics.

Mourinho was a good tactician and he obviously chose to play the David role, by suggesting that Europa League is very difficult to win but “top quality” lies in the Champions League.

Of course, the boss did not need the extra motivation to win this game as Mourinho has never won the Super Cup and would surely love to do so against the club he left in unhappy circumstances four years ago.

Possible line-up

Manchester United

Hopefully, this line-up could help United earn the first trophy for the season. Looking forward to it!! Another three more hours to go...Go United!! #ManchesterUnited #UEFASuperCup #Mourinho