Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt will lock horns with each other this week in Finland, with the 2022/23 UEFA Super Cup on the line.

The traditional curtain raiser of the European football season will come our way from Helsinki this Wednesday as Champions League winners Real Madrid face off against Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt for the UEFA Super Cup.

Real Madrid pulled off the unthinkable last season as Carlo Ancelotti inspired the Merengues to their 14th European crown against the odds as they went all the way, despite finding themselves in disadvantageous positions at every step of the way. Los Blancos also went on to win the La Liga title in the 2021/22 campaign and will be wanting to add another trophy to their kitty this summer as they look to start the new season with a bang.

Eintracht Frankfurt became only the third team to win the Europa League while being unbeaten throughout the tournament, starting from the group stages to the finals. It was their first European trophy triumph after 42 years, as Die Adler, led by manager Oliver Glasner, beat much-fancied teams like West Ham United and Barcelona on their way to lifting the continental title. They will now be gunning to add the Super Cup to their trophy cabinet as well.

Real Madrid’s pre-season preparations have borne mixed results as they have won, lost and drawn one game apiece. Meanwhile, Eintracht Frankfurt won three of their four pre-season friendlies (D1), before starting their season with an impressive win over FC Magdeburg in the DFB-Pokal. However, they head into the Super Cup clash on the back of a 6-1 thumping at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

Team News & Tactics

Real Madrid

Heading into the UEFA Super Cup clash, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has a fully-fit squad at his disposal with no injury-enforced absentees. New signings Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni could make their competitive debuts for Los Blancos on Wednesday night.

However, they are unlikely to feature from the start as Ancelotti wants to stick with the side that won the Champions League last season. So, Eder Militao and David Alaba are likely to form the central defensive pairing for Real Madrid flanked by the full-back duo of Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy. Thibaut Courtois will be the man guarding the goal for the Spanish capital outfit.

Casemiro will again hold the fort for Los Blancos in the middle of the park, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos providing the attacking impetus and creativity from midfield. Eduardo Camavinga will be pushing for a start after the impact he made towards the back-end of the last season but will likely make an appearance from the bench.

Karim Benzema did not get a lot of minutes during the pre-season but remains Real Madrid’s chief threat in attack and should start in the centre-forward role as expected. There is no looking past Vinicius Junior on the left flank from where he will look to exploit any gaps left behind by the Eintracht wing-back.

Ancelotti has preferred to deploy Federico Valverde on the right flank in big games and could once again deploy the Uruguayan ahead of Rodrygo Goes. Eden Hazard will be an option from the bench for the Real Madrid manager to call upon.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius

Eintracht Frankfurt

Jerome Onguene and Aurelio Buta are set to miss out for Eintracht Frankfurt against Real Madrid due to injuries, while Oliver Glasner will have to make do without Filip Kostic, who is on his way to Juventus. The Eagles will set up in their usual 3-4-2-1 formation in Helsinki and will likely focus on defensive discipline while trying to hit Real Madrid on the break.

Kevin Trapp will be guarding the Eintracht Frankfurt goal on Wednesday night, with the three-man backline of Almamy Toure, Tuta and Evan Ndicka shielding him against the mighty Real Madrid frontline.

Ansgar Knauff and Christopher Lenz ought to line up as the wing-backs on the right and left sides, respectively. Given Knauff’s natural attacking instincts, Toure will have some extra defending to do on the right side against the threat of Vinicius Junior. Djibril Sow and Sebastian Rode will line up in midfield and look to curb the influence of their Real Madrid counterparts.

The creativity and chance-creating responsibilities should fall on the shoulders of seasoned campaigner Mario Gotze and youngster Jesper Lindstrom. The duo will operate just in behind the main striker Rafael Borre and look to fashion opportunities for the Colombian centre-forward. Lucas Alario and Randal Kolo Muani will be additional attacking options from the bench.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Trapp; Toure, Tuta, Ndicka; Knauff, Sow, Rode, Lenz; Gotze, Lindstrom; Borre

Key Stats

  • Real Madrid have won four UEFA Super Cup trophies, with their last triumph coming in 2017.
  • Eintracht Frankfurt are only the third team to go unbeaten on their way to winning the Europa League.
  • Real Madrid have won their only previous encounter against Eintracht Frankfurt, beating them 7-3 in the European Cup final in 1960.
  • Eintracht Frankfurt have won six of their ten games against La Liga clubs overall, with their only defeat coming in the aforementioned European Cup final against Real Madrid.
  • Real Madrid have won 34 of their 72 matches played against clubs from Germany across all competitions (D14 L24).

Player to Watch

Karim Benzema

The favourite to win the Ballon d’Or 2022, Karim Benzema played a vital role in Real Madrid’s La Liga and UEFA Champions League triumph last season. The veteran striker finished the previous campaign with a brilliant tally of 44 goals and 15 assists from 46 matches across all competitions and will be itching to start the new campaign from where he left off last time out.

With the departure of Marcelo, Benzema is now officially the captain of Real Madrid, and he will be gunning to help the team to their first silverware under his leadership.

Prediction

Real Madrid 3-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

Eintracht Frankfurt enjoyed a dream run in Europe last time out as they won their first continental trophy in over 40 years. However, their performance against Bayern Munich in their Bundesliga season opener this past weekend raises a lot of concerns heading into the UEFA Super Cup clash on Wednesday.

Real Madrid have not played many matches during the pre-season. But, given the quality and the depth they boast in the squad, it is hard to imagine this going in a direction other than a triumph for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

Comments 3

  1. Musty Abass says:

    Real madrid will win successful by God grace and i love my main man who is karim benzema

  2. Hope says:

    Madrid have upper hand over Frankfort

  3. Ahmad Abdulazeez says:

    Frankfurt can shock everyone

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