B/R Experts’ UEFA Super Cup Predictions

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    Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

    Stars are set to collide on Tuesday when Real Madrid and Manchester United face off in the UEFA Super Cup.

    Champions League winners Real meet Europa League victors United at the National Arena Filip II in Skopje, Macedonia, in the curtain-raiser to the 2017/18 season.

    The Red Devils are ahead in terms of fitness, with Los Blancos’ domestic season getting under way slightly later. But will that be enough to make the difference? 

    Read on for our experts’ views on the game.

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    While Arsenal and Chelsea went head-to-head for the Community Shield, Manchester United will get their 2017/18 campaign under way with a huge test in Macedonia.

    Thanks to their Europa League triumph last term, the UEFA Super Cup gives Jose Mourinho’s men a chance to see how they measure up against European champions Real.

    Zinedine Zidane’s favoured 4-3-3 formation will almost certainly be without Cristiano Ronaldo, but it should still allow Mourinho to deploy his preferred 4-2-3-1 system and sit deep, hoping to pick Los Blancos off on the break.

    The Portuguese will have plenty of pace on the wing and hope to exploit the space behind Real’s full-backs, but his own defence is likely to be tested here.

    It is difficult to see beyond another trophy for the Spanish giants, who have too much firepower for a promising, but still incomplete, United team.

    Prediction: Real Madrid 3-1 Manchester United

    First goalscorer: Casemiro

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    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    If United want to send out an early warning sign to the rest of Europe, then this is a good time and place.

    Mourinho looks like he means business this season—and we all know he usually achieves success in his second season. He would love to use this as a little revenge act on a few figures from his time at Real Madrid, too.

    Mourinho’s side have been pulling together well during pre-season, and with Paul Pogba now being let off the leash, we will soon start to see an increase in his goal output. I quite fancy him to find the net in this one, and Romelu Lukaku will probably find himself on the scoresheet, too.

    Madrid are the best team in Europe at the moment, so they should always be favourites. Ronaldo has travelled, but there is no way he can be at his best yet if he plays, so that gives United increased hope of a win.

    Prediction Real Madrid 1-2 Manchester United

    First goalscorer: Romelu Lukaku

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    Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

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