Real Madrid V Manchester United, UEFA Super Cup Final, Philip II Arena, Skopje, Tuesday 8th August 2017, 19:45 GMT
It’s time to finally turn attentions to the UEFA Super Cup Final, and Real Madrid V Manchester United, being played in the unusual yet enticing surrounds of the Philip II Arena in Macedonia on Tuesday 8th August at 19:45 GMT. With the winners of last season’s Champions League, Real Madrid, against the winners of last season’s Europa League, José Mourinho’s Manchester United, quality and drama are guaranteed. In winning that competition The Red Devils qualified for this season’s Champions League, which was the real prize at stake, but this game is a nice bonus at the start of the season for the team who finished back in sixth in the English Premier League in May.
The winners here take home the European Super Cup, and to underestimate the importance of any silverware to both José Mourinho and Zinedine Zidane, Mourinho in particular , would be unwise. Real Madrid have always measured their success tangibly, yet Los Blancos have been extremely patchy in pre-season so far, which is really a little bit of an understatement. Four games on their US tour and no wins is not a record usually associated with the European giants, and their most recent game against the LMS All-Stars was indicative of their travails, ending in a disappointing 1-1 draw. That US tour included a heavy defeat against Manchester City, a loss against La Liga rivals Barcelona and interestingly enough, a 1-1 draw against their upcoming opponents – that was played out in Santa Clara, California just a few weeks ago. In fact, that game operates as a nice little indicator for the betting ahead of this game here.
Recruitment-wise, United have been by far the busier team. They have picked up Romelu Lukaku in a high-profile multi-million euro deal, and have also added Victor Lindelöf to the defence, while Nemanja Matić has arrived from champions Chelsea to bolster strength in midfield. Wayne Rooney has moved on but from a neutral’s perspective it has good business for United so far this summer. Real Madrid, on the other hand, have been a little quieter, bringing in a couple of youngsters in the shape of Dani Ceballos and Theo Hernández, who looks an exciting prospect. But they have also haemorrhaged a lot of experience; Pepe, Fábio Coentrão and Danilo have all moved on, whereas James Rodríguez has moved on a two-year loan deal to Bayern Munich. There may still be some more business for Real Madrid ahead of the new season but that won’t be completed ahead of this UEFA Super Cup Final.
So looking at the betting, United have been in a lot better form this pre-season, to state it mildly. Obviously this is a competitive fixture at last, but the key factor here will be Cristiano Ronaldo’s form and fitness. The Portuguese superstar was given extended time off by his club due to his exertions in the Confederations Cup, and only returned to training on Saturday, which of course does not give him much time to prepare for this game. If he does feature we wouldn’t expect to see a fully-fit CR7. Yet surprisingly, considering all of those facts, Real Madrid remain short-odds favourites. Backing Manchester United to win this game looks exceedingly great value, but just to make it a little bit safer, looking at the Asian Handicap if you look at United +0.50, the odds are as high as 3.90 with the likes of Unibet, which looks attractive.
Another good option here would be that a number of bookmakers are offering ‘draw no bet’ odds and you could get a Manchester United win but draw no bet at 2.85, that’s also with Unibet, so there are some really good specials available with the bookmakers leading up to the start of the domestic seasons in just a week or so.
And then, goals look to be at a premium between these two sides – that 1-1 draw in the friendly gives us some indication, but this is José Mourinho we are talking about; he hates to lose and puts a high price on silverware, and of course his teams are always set up defensively soundly, so we are going Under 2.5 which also looks good value, looking at 2.23 here with Marathonbet, in particular.
It’s the UEFA Super Cup final, and it’s Real Madrid V Manchester United. What more could you want?