A place in the Supercopa de Espana final will be on the line when Real Madrid and Valencia meet at the King Fahd International Stadium on Wednesday.
League football pauses for a few days for four Spanish teams as the 2022 Supercopa de Espana kicks off on Wednesday. Real Madrid and Valencia will vie for the first spot in the final when they clash at the King Fahd International Stadium.
The 2022/23 season has been somewhat topsy-turvy thus far for Real Madrid. The Merengues have lost only three matches, with two of them coming in La Liga. And both losses have come in their last five games across all competitions, with Villarreal beating them 2-1 this past weekend. So Real Madrid will not head to Saudi Arabia in optimum form.
As for Valencia, Gennaro Gattuso has overseen a difficult season thus far. The Italian tactician has not succeeded in galvanising his squad. And with Los Che losing back-to-back La Liga games, they have reached Saudi Arabia tottering at 11th in the league standings.
Real Madrid clinched a straightforward 3-1 win the last time they locked horns with Valencia in Supercopa de Espana in January 2020. And The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.
Team News & Tactics
📋✅ Our squad for the Spanish Super Cup!#SuperSupercopa pic.twitter.com/G56qxFNVSK
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) January 9, 2023
Carlo Ancelotti has new injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of the Spanish Super Cup semi-final. Against Valencia on Wednesday, the Real Madrid manager will be bereft of the services of three first-team players.
David Alaba and Aurelien Tchouameni are the absentees from the travelling squad. The two players miss out due to leg injuries and will unlikely feature again for Real Madrid this month. In addition, Alvaro Odriozola might miss out due to a muscle issue, although he is in Saudi Arabia with the rest of the team.
Odriozola was unlikely to feature anyway, with Dani Carvajal fit and available for Supercop de Espana. The veteran right-back should return to the starting eleven, with Ferland Mendy starting on the left flank. Eder Militao and Antonio Rudiger pick themselves in the central defensive pairing in Alaba’s absence. And Thibaut Courtois is an automatic selection between the sticks.
As for the midfield unit, Ancelotti has a crucial decision about Tchouameni’s replacement. And Eduardo Camavinga might get the nod to sit at the base of the midfield, with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric starting as the creative midfielders.
Federico Valverde should feature on the right flank, as he usually does in the biggest games. So Rodrygo Goes will likely find a place on the bench. That is because Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior will complete the offensive unit for Los Blancos.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Mendy; Modric, Camavinga, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius
Like his counterpart in the Real Madrid dugout, Gennaro Gattuso has had to name his travelling squad without two players. But the Valencia manager is not missing any pivotal figure, unlike Carlo Ancelotti.
Samu Castillejo is unavailable due to a wrist fracture, for which he has undergone surgery. In addition, Nico Gonzalez, on loan at Valencia CF from Barcelona, is a long-term absentee due to a foot injury.
✈️ Off we go!
🇸🇦 Destination: Spanish Super Cup pic.twitter.com/2qijwr3UUf
— Valencia CF (@valenciacf_en) January 9, 2023
Giorgi Mamardashvili will take his spot between the sticks for Valencia, who will line up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of him. Eray Comert and Mouctar Diakhaby should form the central defensive partnership, with Thierry Correia and Jose Gaya being the two full-backs.
Yunus Musah, chased by several Premier League clubs, will be a vital cog in the middle of the park for Valencia. The 20-year-old will provide defensive support to Hugo Guillamon. And he will need to give his team the forward thrust from the middle of the park along with Andre Almeida.
Edinson Cavani has been a rare positive for Valencia in the final third. And the veteran striker will spearhead the offensive unit against Real Madrid on Wednesday. Finally, Justin Kluivert and Samuel Lino will complete the attack this midweek.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Mamardashvili; Correia, Comert, Diakhaby, Gaya; Musah, Guillamon, Almeida; Kluivert, Cavani, Lino
- Real Madrid have won their last three games against Valencia.
- Valencia have lost two of the three games since the resumption of the 2022/23 season.
- Eight of Valencia’s last 11 games have seen both teams score.
- Real Madrid have kept only one clean sheet in their last eight games across all competitions.
- Valencia have lost six of their eight cup clashes with Real Madrid this century.
Player to Watch
With Aurelien Tchouameni unavailable for the foreseeable future, Carlo Ancelotti needs to identify the solution for his absence. And Tchouameni’s compatriot Eduardo Camavinga might be the go-to player for the Real Madrid manager against Valencia on Wednesday.
Camavinga has not enjoyed the ideal stint with Real Madrid thus far, as he has been a backup option. But he has, more often than not, delivered the goods when the opportunities have presented themselves. Another such moment is arriving at Camavinga’s doorstep. And he will need to be at his best to guide Real Madrid to the Supercopa de Espana final.
Real Madrid 3-1 Valencia
Both teams struggle to keep clean sheets, meaning the scorers will not have the night off. And with Edinson Cavani saving his best for the biggest games, Valencia might have a chance to cause an upset. At the other end, Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema have looked solid since the season resumed.
The two attacking stalwarts should rise to the occasion again for Real Madrid, with Benzema, in particular, enjoying a brilliant outing. And Real Madrid should have more than enough quality to overcome a struggling Valencia. Despite the uncertainty of a cup game, Los Blancos should win this game 3-1 on Wednesday.
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