The European Super Cup is an all-Spanish affair for the third season running and is a repeat of the 2014 match. Real Madrid won that 2-0 in Cardiff thanks to a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo and Sevilla were also beaten by Barcelona in last season’s game although only in Extra Time with Pedro’s late strike giving the Catalans a thrilling 5-4 win.
It’s probably fair to say this year’s match-up won’t live up to that and it could be quite low-key by the standards of European football’s traditional curtain-raiser. Rosenborg’s 21,000 capacity Lerkendal Stadion isn’t the most inspiring of venues and the game will also take place in the absence of several star names. Pepe and Cristiano Ronaldo definitely won’t feature while Zinedine Zidane has suggested Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema are also all unlikely to play.
That should give Sevilla a really good chance here but there is still some uncertainty about what to expect from them following a summer of major changes on and off the pitch. They’ve lost star striker Kevin Gameiro to Atletico Madrid and holding midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak to PSG. Coach Unai Emery has also moved to the French capital and this will be the first competitive game of new boss Jorge Sampaoli’s reign. They’ve looked pretty good in pre-season winning all six matches, the most recent of which was a 2-0 win against fellow Primera Division side Granada.
As for Real Madrid they have been involved in the International Champions Cup. They’ve lost to PSG but beat Bayern Munich and Chelsea and those are decent results given the number of absentees they’ve had to cope with.
Sevilla should be the fitter of the two sides though having played twice as many pre-season games and with the Spanish Super Cup commencing at the weekend, they’ve been keen to ensure they are ready for this tough opening to the campaign. The game perhaps matters more to them too and particularly their coach who’d love to add some silverware to the increasingly well-decorated Sevilla trophy cabinet in his opening game.
With Real Madrid missing so many players, Sevilla have a real chance of causing an upset and backing Double Chance – Draw or Sevilla at Evens looks to offer good value.