Real Madrid take on Atletico de Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Supercopa tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu hoping to build a lead and move a step closer to securing their second piece of silverware this season.
The city rivals have met on four previous occasions in the calendar year, with the last one being the Champions League final. The 4-1 win for Los Blancos secured their 10th European Cup, but the scoreline doesn’t reflect the closeness of the game, with Carlo Ancelotti’s men equalising right at the death in Lisbon.
Since then, both playing squads have changed somewhat. The hosts have added World Cup winner Toni Kroos in midfield and the tournament’s top scorer James Rodriguez in an attacking role. The addition of the Colombian, for 80 million euros, means the attacking unit of him, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale is one of the most feared in the world. At the other end, Diego Lopez departed for AC Milan and was replaced by Keylor Navas.
Atletico lost a number of players this summer, including Thibaut Courtois, Diego Costa and Felipe Luis, who all ended up at Chelsea. They have added some dangerous forwards though in the form of Mario Mandzikic and Antoine Griezmann.
In terms of the line ups for tonight, Pepe and Bale are the only doubts for Madrid having missed training earlier this week. Should they fail to make it, Raphael Varane and Isco are the likely candidates to fill in.
For the visitors, influential midfielder Arda Turan misses out with a thigh injury, but everyone else should be available.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao; Kroos, Modric, Rodriguez; Bale; Benzema; Ronaldo
Atletico de Madrid: Oblak; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Ansaldi; Garcia, Thiago, Gabi, Koke; Mandzukic, Griezmann