European preseason is almost over, and the world best clubs finally starting serious business this Tuesday in Skopje, Macedonia. In UEFA Super Cup Champions League winners Real Madrid will clash with Europa League Champion Manchester United.
Real Madrid just came back from USA Tour, and sure club made good money, playing friendly games on American soil, but results are not even close to fans expectations.
Real Madrid, arguably world best club at the moment, didn’t win single game in regulation during their 2017 US Tour. They faced their Tuesday rival Manchester United, friendly match ended with friendly 1-1 draw. Zinadine Zidane’s gang lost to FC Barcelona in Miami 2-3, but got trashed by Manchester City 4-1. Cristiano Ronaldo absence, and some experimental lineups, made Real Madrid team look less than comfortable on American arenas. Back to back UEFA Champions League winners, had problems winning even vs MLS All-Star team. In regulation MLS All-Star team been able to hold 1-1 draw, Real had to shoot penalty kicks to claim victory.
Los Blancos manager Zinadine Zidane trying to keep team motivated for the first competitive match of the season saying: ” It’s fundamental for us to win UEFA Super Cup. Victory should be a great motivation for rest of the season, would be great to get us going. We need that. Last year we won this trophy, and we had wonderful season.
“For sure we not going to be in our best form, so if we win UEFA Super Cup would be great, but there won’t be any drama, or tragedy if we don’t” said Dani Carvajal.
The only player showing consistent form during preseason was 21 years old Marco Asensio, and he’s expected to start next to Karim Benzema up top. Cristiano Ronaldo took longer vacation than rest of the team, he had some tax issues with Spanish government, but one thing is for sure, he will stay in Real Madrid. “We never going to sell him, even if someone offers more gold than his weight” said Real Madrid President Florentino Perez.
Because of longer vacation, Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t practice much, so he’s not expected to start, he likely will come as sub late in the game.
On the other hand we have very promising a new Manchester United team, that Jose Mourinho building for years to start winning some trophies from little higher shelve, than the one team won in Europa League last May.
“I’m little concern, because this is new team, and some of my players have no experience playing on this level, vs such a demanding opponent, but that’s ideal time to get the experience” said Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho seem to got missing pieces between seasons. Romelu Lukaku, Victor Lindelof, and Nemanja Matic are all spectacular signings, and scouts that watched United in their US Tour had nothing but complement to say about new look of Jose Mourinho team.
[poll id=”325″] The only loss during this Manchester United preseason, was 0-1 to FC Barcelona in Landover, but they beat Manchester City 2-0, LA Galaxy 5-2, RSL 2-1, Valerenga 3-0, and Sampdoria 2-1, and as mentioned earlier tied 1-1 Real Madrid.
Probably based on last season results, and their brand Real Madrid is listed by Las Vegas bookmakers as -105 favorite, but there is plenty of value in taking positions against Spanish Giant.
Motivation seem to be about the same, and after analyzing form of both teams I like United chances better. Point-spread +0.5 seem to have the most values. Unknown is a shape of the pitch on Philip II Arena in Skopje, Macedonia, this will be the biggest sport event in country history. That’s why picking total goals in this game is risky proposition, but regardless of the form, there will be plenty of talent on the pitch to produce a few goals.
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: DRAW + 250 (3.5)
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: Manchester United + 0.5 at -115 (1.85)
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: Manchester United WIN +290 (3.9)
CHRIS’S PREDICTION: OVER 2.5 Goals -130 (1.77)