Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid
King Abdallah Sports City, Jeddah
Sunday, 12-01-2020 @9pm
Ref: Jose Sanchez
The Spanish Super Cup was shifted to Saudi Arabia and has already treated us to two mouthwatering match ups as Real beat Valencia 3-1 while Atletico came from 2-1 down to stun Barca 3-2.
On Sunday, Zinedin Zidane and Diego Simone will take charge of their respective sides as they hope to win this new-look mini tournament.
With both the teams in good form, the stage is set for an epic clash between the city rivals. These two clubs have not allowed the supporters any dull moment in the past and this looks to be another historic encounter. Before the all-important finale, we at the Hard tackle will take a closer look at both sides.
Zidane does not have much to choose from with injuries to Karim Benzema who joined Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard on the sidelines and has not travelled to Saudi Arabia with the squad. Therefore the French tactician may opt for the same team that played against Valencia in the semi-finals. Los Blanvos may again opt for a narrower 4-3-2-1 formation with Belgian custodian Thibaut Courtois being the mainstay between the sticks. The former Chelsea goalkeeper has finally found some form in Real Madrid colours. The back four should remain the same as Zidane likes consistency in defence. Sergio Ramos will lead the Real Madrid defence and he will be partnered by Raphael Varane at the heart of the backline while Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy will slot in the full-back positions. It will be a packed midfield with five players which will include three at the base of the field and two players who will be given the license to roam freely and latch onto the free spaces near the final third. Casemiro will cover the backline and break up play and the Brazilian will be partnered by Federico Valverde’s energy and tenacity and Toni Kroos’ creativity. The two free roles will be taken by Luka Modric and Isco who will play as inverted wingers and look to drag out defenders to create space for Luka Jovic, who is likely to start as the lone striker upfront.
Simeone also has few players missing from this crucial final match, as Thomas Lemar and Diego Costa are sidelined. Spanish midfielder Koke is also in doubt after sustaining an injury against Barcelona in the semifinals. They are expected to field their side in a conventional 4-4-2 formation with Jan Oblak guarding the goal and organizing the defence. Stefan Savic, who returned after injury to play the match against Barcelona, is likely to partner Felipe at the centre while Kieran Trippier and Renan Lodi will add speed and creativity from wider areas in defence. In midfield the hero of the semifinal, Angel Correa will start along with Saul Niguez on the flanks. With Koke injured Simeone will be forced to continue with Hector Herrera as the Mexican’s experience can be valuable in these big matches. Thomas Partey will partner Herrera and will also look to add inject that energy in a midfield that looks a bit bland in terms of creativity. Upfront, Simeone has opted for the young sensation Joao Felix and partnering him will be Alvaro Morata. The former Real Madrid striker will have a chance to prove himself in front of his former club with a silverware at stake in a derby.
This is the first time that the Supercopa de Espana final will be played with neither the reigning La Liga champions and reigning Copa del Rey champions being involved in it. Real Madrid has a huge upper hand against their city rivals in head to head record, having won 110 times against them with Atletico Madrid only managing to win 56 matches. The Rojiblancos will look to take revenge of their agonizing losses against Real Madrid in the Champions League finals in 2014 and also in 2016. Alvaro Morata has scored two times in three matches against his former team Real Madrid and will be a key weapon for Simeone in this big fixture especially with multiple top players unavailable