This season we watched El Clásico at the Nou Camp in Primera, when Real beat Barcelona 3: 1. We could see a new duel between the two biggest clubs in Spain in the Super Cup final. Ronald Koeman's team knocked out Sociedad in Cordoba after a better penalty shootout, and the second semifinal pair is played tonight in Malaga (21.00) - Real Madrid is playing against Bilbao.
Objectively speaking, it is far from the fact that Real Madrid was brilliant in the previous competition years, but to be clear, they were less bad than their rivals, primarily Barcelona, and in the end managed to win two trophies - in the Primera and the Super Cup.
The time has come to defend them. For the second consecutive season, the Spanish Super Cup will be played in a new format, with four teams. Real will play as a trophy defender in the semifinals against Bilbao, last year's King's Cup finalist, who is still waiting for his champion.
Instead of Saudi Arabia, as in the previous year, Blancos will play its semifinal match in Malaga. It is interesting that Zinedine Zidane, as a player, won the first trophy in the Real jersey in 2001 in the Super Cup. The Frenchman has won this cup four times.
Zidane will play with the strongest possible team against the Basques. Serbian national team player Luka Jović is already in Frankfurt. He will be on loan at Eintracht until the end of the season. Only the injured Carvajal is missing.
Zidane decided to use a 4-3-3 set up. Eden Hazard will play in the starting 11. Lucas will be on the right side of the field, and Karim Benzema's partner in the attack will be Marco Asensio. Real and Bilbao have already met in the Primera this season.
It was in mid-December in the 19th round when Karim Benzema defeated the Basque team with two goals in the finish, confirming the third consecutive victory of Madrid in the championship. After that, they recorded three more triumphs and two draws and currently are in a series of eight matches without defeat in the Primera.
Bilbao, on the other hand, continued with changeable games after the failure in Madrid, so Gaizka Garitano, despite the triumph over Elche in the first match in 2021, was fired. Shock therapy with Marcelino Toral did not succeed, as the Basques were defeated by Barça in the next round, but the former Valencia coach is still expected to "dress up" the team.
Tradition says that Marcelino will have to wait a little longer for the premiere triumph on the bench of Bilbao, because his Basques have not celebrated against Real for almost six years, ie in the last 11 mutual duels.