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Preview: Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United to prevail in Skopje and bring the UEFA Super Cup home…

Real Madrid -v- Manchester United

UEFA Super Cup 2017

Philip II Arena, Skopje, Macedonia

Tuesday 8th August 2017; KO 19:45 BST

Live on BT Sport in the United Kingdom

Manchester United face Real Madrid in their last summer match, a head to head to contest the UEFA Super Cup. The match will be played in Skopje, Macedonia and will be the clubs first competitive fixture of the summer and a good test to ready themselves for West Ham United in the opening Premier League match of the season on Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford. United, led by Jose Mourinho, have had a good summer, playing seven pre-season matches, winning six, one on penalties, the International Champions Cup clash against Real Madrid. This will be the second time Mourinho and Zinedine Zidane will have gone against each other this summer. United are in good strength ahead of the new season but with Eric Bailly and Phil Jones suspended for this fixture, the defence will be much weaker. Bailly was sent off in the UEFA Europa League semi-final against Celta Vigo, missing the final then handed a further two-match suspension, missing this match in the first UEFA Champions League match of the new season. Jones was banned following a disagreement with a doping official, handed a £4,500 fine and a two-match ban.

Mourinho has strength-in-depth ahead of the match though with new signing Victor Lindelof settling into the club, Matteo Darmian the best choice in the left-back role, at this stage at least and Antonio Valencia turning back the years and showing his abilities in the right-back position which has seen him maraud up the right flank and help the teams attacking players get the better of their opposition. United strikers are in good stead with Romelu Lukaku coming in this summer from Everton, Marcus Rashford raring to go and Anthony Martial putting a poor season behind him and showing his class again. Many will savour what he did against Dani Carvajal in the pre-season match, all but Carvajal himself. The midfield has strengthened also with Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera looking to continue where they left last season with new signing Nemanja Matic looking to shore up the midfield and do what he did for Mourinho in his last Premier League title victory, an adequate replacement for captain Michael Carrick.

United will be looking to get the better of Real Madrid in a competitive match for the first time since 1968 when they knocked the club out of the European Cup. United and Real Madrid have played ten competitive matches, two won by United, four by Real Madrid and four draws. Mourinho will face his former club, managing them from 2010 to 2013, winning the Copa del Rey in his first season, the La Liga in his second, becoming the fifth manager to win league titles in five countries, which will be something Mourinho will be targeting this season with United, challenging the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal to return to the top in the English top-flight once again, the first time post-Sir Alex Ferguson.

Previous Matches: 10 competitive matches, two wins for United, apart from 1968, Real Madrid have the advantage

Manchester United and Real Madrid have met ten times in competitive matches with United winning twice, Real Madrid winning four times and the two sides drawing four times. Whilst United have not been all that lucky against the side; losing 5-3 on aggregate in the European Cup in 1957, just before that fateful trip to Belgrade which ended in disaster in Munich, then the 4-3 aggregate victory in the same competition in 1968, the year United reached the promised time for the first time. United met the Madrid side again in 200, losing 3-2 on aggregate, meeting again in 2003 and despite winning 4-3 at Old Trafford, United lost 6-5 on aggregate. In 2013, the last competitive fixtures between the clubs, United lost 3-2 on aggregate. United though have beaten Real Madrid in pre-season, which counts for nothing. Could this be that fits competitive victory over Real Madrid which means something?

Pre-Season Form: United beat Real Madrid 2-1 on penalties a few weeks back, but this is a different occasion

Manchester United have played seven matches this pre-season, five of which were played in the United States of America. United beat LA Galaxy 5-2 in their first match of the summer, then going onto beat Real Salt Lake 2-1 in the second. United then participated in the International Champions Cup facing Manchester City, winning 2-0, Real Madrid, beating them 2-1 on penalties after a 1-1 90-minute draw and Barcelona, losing in a 1-0 defeat which was a very close match. United then heading back to Europe, facing Valerenga in Oslo, winning 3-0, their first win against the side after a previous 0-0 draw in the city. The last pre-season match came against Sampdoria in Dublin with United winning 2-1 in the Irish capital. The match against Real Madrid will be Jose Mourinho’s eighth match of the summer in preparation for the Premier League season which commences on Sunday at Old Trafford against West Ham United.

Team News: Eric Bailly and Phil Jones miss the match through suspension

Jose Mourinho will be without both Eric Bailly and Phil Jones through suspension, both will miss the first UEFA Champions League match also. Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, and Marcos Rojo will all remain on the sidelines through injury despite travelling to Skopje to see their side face UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid. Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof could all make their competitive debuts for their new side with Mourinho looking to cause damage against the best team in Europa and currently the world. Gareth Bale could be a doubt for the Madrid side with an ankle injury plaguing him throughout the summer and Cristiano Ronaldo has been named in the 24-man squad, returning to training last week.

Predicted Starting XI: Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to test Real Madrid’s defence?

Match Prediction: Manchester United to prevail in their second UEFA Super Cup victory…

Real Madrid 1-2 Manchester United

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