A place in the 2023/24 Supercopa de Espana is up for grabs as Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid lock horns in Wednesday’s mouth-watering semi-final tie at KSU Stadium in Riyadh.
Defending champions Barcelona play last season’s beaten Copa del Rey finalists Osasuna in the other semi-finals the following day, with the winners scheduled to meet in the final on Sunday.
Where to watch?
If you want to watch this or any other Los Blancos game, check out Real Madrid live streams here.
What do you need to know?
Since the inception of the four-team format in 2019/20, Saudi Arabia has hosted three of the four previous Supercopa de Espana editions.
The Middle East superpower acquired the hosting rights in 2019 in an eye-watering €120 million deal and will stage the event for the third year on the trot.
After Athletic Bilbao won the last tournament held on domestic soil in 2020/21 because of the coronavirus pandemic, Real and Barcelona have alternated at the podium.
Los Blancos slumped to a 3-1 defeat to the Catalan powerhouse in last year’s showpiece and will be out to retrieve the crown in the midst of an incredible run of form.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side lifted their 20th Copa del Rey title in 2022/23, beating Osasuna 2-1 in the title-deciding fixture to earn their place in the Super Cup.
Bidding to take home the 13th Supercopa de Espana title, Los Merengues come into proceedings in a buoyant mood after piecing together an impressive 19-game unbeaten run in all competitions (W16, D3).
They’ve been flawless since the calendar year flipped to 2024, squeezing past Mallorca 1-0 to protect their place at the top of the La Liga standings before thumping lower-league Arandina 3-1 in Copa del Rey action.
However, the last time Madrid suffered defeat, Los Colchoneros were on the other side, winning the 233rd El Clasico 3-1 in September (W115, D60, L58).
Keen to turn the tables on Atletico, Ancelotti’s team can draw confidence from overcoming their city rivals at this stage of last year’s competition, limping into the final courtesy of a penalty shoot-out win.
Atletico must take a trip down memory lane all the way to 2014 for the last time they wrapped up the Supercopa de Espana title.
But Diego Simeone’s only previous triumph in this competition came against none other than Los Blancos – a rare good omen ahead of the kick-off.
Problems with inconsistent performances threaten to hinder Atletico’s quest to avenge last year’s fiasco, with Simeone’s side racking up just three wins in six outings leading into this contest (D1, L2).
Los Rojiblancos got 2024 off to a sluggish start, falling to a 4-3 defeat at La Liga joint-leaders Girona before bouncing back with a 3-1 Copa del Rey win against lower-league Lugo.
Venturing outside Madrid hardly bodes well for their hopes of continuing in a similar vein, with Atletico losing their last four matches against top-tier opposition in the hostile setting by an aggregate score of 9-4.
Not only are Los Merengues unbeaten in 19 competitive games since the Madrid derby defeat in September, but they’ve won their last five in a row, averaging 2.4 goals per match.
Form (all competitions, most recent first): WWWWWDWWWW
Simeone’s side lament an unconvincing 50% win ratio across eight outings since the start of December (D1, L3), especially as three of their four victories in this run came against bottom-table and lower-league sides.s
Form (all competitions, most recent first): WLWDLWWLWW
Madrid’s first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defensive trio David Alaba, Eder Militao and Lucas Vasquez are not in contention for the upcoming clash of the titans.
But in addition to welcoming Eduardo Camavinga back from a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Ancelotti has had the privilege to include teenage sensation Arda Guller in his squad for the first time this season.
As for Atletico, Thomas Lemar is the only notable absentee, though Cesar Azpilicueta and Pablo Barrios are dealing with minor fitness problems and could start on the bench.
Possible Starting Line-ups
Real Madrid (4-3-1-2): Andriy Lunin; Dani Carvajal, Antonio Rudiger, Aurelien Tchouameni, Fran Garcia; Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Federico Valverde; Jude Bellingham; Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior.
Atletico Madrid (3-5-2): Jan Oblak; Axel Witsel, Jose Maria Gimenez, Mario Hermoso; Samuel Lino, Koke, Rodrigo De Paul, Marcos Llorente, Rodrigo Riquelme; Antoine Griezmann, Alvaro Morata.
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