Valencia vs Real Madrid: Match Preview | Spanish Super Cup 2019-20
The latest edition of the Spanish Super Cup will witness a new format featuring four teams consisting of two finalists from the 2018-19 Copa del Rey and the remaining highest-ranked teams from the 2018-19 LaLiga that had not already qualified.
The 2019-20 Spanish Super Cup is scheduled to be played in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah from 8th January, 2020 to 12th January, 2020. The new format includes a semi-final round followed by a final.
The draw for the cup took place on 11th November 2019 in which 2018-19 Copa del Rey winners Valencia were drawn against Real Madrid whereas Atletico Madrid were pitted against 2018-19 LaLiga champions FC Barcelona.
The first semi-final will be played on 8th January, 2020 between Valencia and Real Madrid who lock horns for the second time in a span of one month as the two sides went up against each other on 15th December, 2019 in LaLiga at Mestalla. The game ended in a 1-1 draw, courtesy of a stoppage-time equalizer from French striker Karim Benzema.
Real Madrid and Valencia returned to LaLiga last weekend after a hiatus of 2 weeks and were back to winning ways as both sides collected all three points from their respective fixtures. Los Blancos ended the year in an unsettling manner as they drew their final three LaLiga games and were placed second in the league table, 2 points behind leaders and arch-rivals FC Barcelona.
However, Zinedine Zidane's men had a promising start to the new year as they defeated local rivals Getafe CF by a scoreline of 3-0 away from home at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez. Madrid now only trail leaders Barcelona on goal difference as both sides have accumulated 40 points from the first half of the league season.
Valencia CF also ended the year on the back of consecutive draws but returned to winning ways this weekend as they defeated Eibar 1-0 at home. Valencia currently sit at the sixth spot in LaLiga with 31 points from 19 games and are four points away from a Champions League berth.
In the Champions League this season, Valencia have emerged as a surprise package as they won their group losing only one game and knocked out last year's semi-finalists AFC Ajax.
Team News and Predicted Lineup
Real Madrid will be without their star signing of the season, Eden Hazard as the Belgian is still recovering from an ankle fracture sustained during Los Blancos' Champions League fixture against Paris Saint-Germain on November 26. Zidane confirmed his exclusion from the squad in a press conference as he said, "He (Hazard) is 100 per cent out of the Super Cup".
Marco Asensio is the other absentee who will miss the majority of 2019-20 season for Real Madrid owing to his injury sustained against Arsenal during the pre-season. Apart from these two players, Zidane is expected to have his entire squad available for the Super Cup semi-final on Wednesday.
Valencia are going to be without Portuguese winger Goncalo Guedes who has not featured for them since October and has no confirmed date of return till now. The other absentees for Los Che include, forward Kangin Lee and defender Cristiano Piccini. Rodrigo Moreno is also doubtful for the upcoming Super Cup as he suffered a sprain to his right knee during Saturday's clash against Eibar.
Despite injury woes, Valencia are likely to field a strong playing eleven on Wednesday in Jeddah with the likes of Daniel Parejo, Francis Coquelin and Carlos Soler dominating the midfield.
Real Madrid predicted starting XI: Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Ferland Mendy; Luka Modric, Casemiro, Toni Kroos; Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Isco
Valencia predicted starting XI: Jasper Cillesen; Daniel Wass, Gabriel, Moukhtar Diakhaby, Jose Gaya; Ferran Torres, Dani Parejo, Francis Coquelin, Carlos Soler; Kevin Gameiro, Maxi Gomez
Final scoreline prediction: VAL 1-2 RMA
The contest between these two sides would be a nerve-racking affair with Real Madrid coming out on top with the slightest of margins. Zidane's temperament during knock-out games is expected to help Los Blancos see this one through.