Real Madrid will be without superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale when they take on La Liga oufit Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday.
Zinedine Zidane faces a tough task to get his squad ready to face Europa League winners Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup. The French legend would be eager to add the trophy to an already impressive list of accomplishments in his short time as Real Madrid manager.
However, Zidane has difficult choices to make as Los Blancos are riddled with injuries to their star players. While the manager himself confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will be joining the squad on the 10th of August, thus missing the Super Cup tie, Euro 2016 stars Pepe, Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos are also unfit and are unlikely to feature against Sevilla.
First choice goalkeeper Keylor Navas is out with an injury, which would force Zidane’s hand to choose Kiko Casilla to guard the goal. The absence of Pepe is likely to give Raphael Varane the opportunity to impress his fellow countryman as he continues to try and secure a regular place in the starting lineup at the Spanish capital.
With superstars like Ronaldo and Bale not available, the onus will be on James Rodriguez and Isco to provide the attacking impetus in midfield, while Alvaro Morata will be entrusted with the responsibility of spearheading the Los Blancos attack in the absence of Karim Benzema, who has a back problem and is unlikely to be risked.
The only positive is the availability of maestro Luka Modric, who is sure to start in the middle of the park. Their performance and the outcome of the match may just decide the futures of James Rodriguez and Isco, among other players reportedly on the fringe.
Sevilla, on the other hand, are a completely different team to the one that won three successive Europa League titles. They come into the match with a new manager in Jorge Sampaoli. The Liga BBVA side have lost four of the players who started the Europa League final against Liverpool — Grzegorz Krychowiak, Kevin Gameiro, Éver Banega and Coke.
The club, though, would feel most depleted by the departure of three-time Europa League winning coach Unai Emery, who decided to take up the Paris Saint-Germain managerial position.
Can a depleted Real Madrid beat Sevilla in the absence of their mega stars?
The main question is whether Zinedine Zidane can rally his troops to beat Sevilla, who will be without Benoit Tremoulinas and Michael Krohn-Dehli, both of whom are out with a knee injury. Real Madrid will be without two of the biggest stars in the footballing world in Ronaldo and Bale, which presents Sevilla with a brilliant opportunity to capture the UEFA Super Cup and mark the start of Jorge Sampaoli’s reign with a trophy.
However, a positive result from Real Madrid in the absence of their mega stars would go a long way in proving the club’s ability to grind out victories, while it would also give Zidane further credibility as a manager.