Real Madrid V Sevilla
Tuesday 12th August. 7:45PM. ITV 4
The highlight of Tuesday night’s football offering comes from the Cardiff City Stadium as Spanish rivals Real Madrid and Sevilla meet in the UEFA Super Cup.
Having seen the sides share 13 goals in two La Liga matches last term, we are anticipating plenty of action in this European curtain-raiser.
It has all the makings of an early season classic.
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Having guided the Blancos to la Decima in 2013/14, Carlo Ancelotti will be looking to build on that success in the coming campaign by helping the Bernabeu giants become the first ever club to retain the Champions League trophy in its current guise.
The man selected to ensure they have the best chance of doing that is Colombian hero James Rodriguez, who made the €70 million switch from Monaco last month. The 23-year-old wowed fans at this summer’s FIFA World Cup, finishing as the tournament’s top scorer, and is now set to shine on the biggest club stage of all in 2014/15.
Rodriguez becomes the latest star to arrive at the Bernabeu, joining the trio of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo – affectionately known as the BBC. Historically speaking, the Blancos have always been blessed with a wealth of attacking talent and this current line-up could potentially be their best ever.
The Spanish giants won two trophies last term but will be desperate to complete a treble in 2014/15 by winning La Liga as well as retaining both the Champions League and Copa del Rey trophies. Whilst Tuesday’s Super Cup ranks at the bottom of their priorities, it does offer a chance to add another piece of silverware to the Bernabeu trophy cabinet.
That is an opportunity that Ancelotti and his men will be eager to take.
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Unai Emery’sSevilla rode their luck on several occasions en route to winning last season’s Europa League title in Turin and will be out to cause an upset in Wales.
The Rojiblancos first trailed Seville rivals Real Betis 2-0 after the first-leg of their round of 16 contest before advancing on penalties. They then stunned Valencia with a 94th-mintue strike in the semi-final to complete an astonishing away goals victory. Sevilla then completed their heroic run to the Europa League crown by defeating Portuguese side Benfica on penalties, despite being on the backfoot for most of the encounter.
Nevertheless, their perseverance and drive must be commended and Emery will be hopeful that those qualities can help them defy the odds against Tuesday’s opponents. However, they must find a way to cope without the services of former star man Ivan Rakitic after the Croat traded Seville for Barcelona this summer.
Sevilla still boast some genuine attacking talent in deadly duo Kevin Gameiro and Carlos Bacca. Can the Rojiblancos cause an upset in Cardiff?
Real Madrid V Sevilla Betting
Unsurprisingly, Real Madrid enter Tuesday’s contest as firm favourites and are priced 2/5 to lift the trophy in 90 minutes with Bet365. Meanwhile the bookmaker are offering Sevilla at 6/1whilst the draw is available at 15/4.
Sevilla are a decent side and should be challenging for a top four finish in La Liga this term. However, they are still some way short of Real Madrid and their superiority in the final third should show here.
The Blancos hit seven goals in a league meeting at the Bernabeu last season and Ancelotti’s men are more than capable of finding the net frequently in Wales. They should enjoy large periods of the play and we’re backing them to convert that into a comfortable victory here.
In the Champions League final win over city rivals Atletico, it was Gareth Bale who hit the crucial extra-time winner and the former Spurs man could be set for another starring role on his return to the Welsh capital.
Bale is fresher than most, as Wales didn’t qualify for this summer’s World Cup, and that could give him the extra edge heading into Tuesday’s Super Cup clash.