Manchester United vs Real Madrid Preview: Red Devils look for first silverware of the season

Manchester United travel to the Macedonian capital to take on European champions Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup, looking to start their season by winning yet another trophy.

The Red Devils picked up two major pieces of silverware last term, plus the Community Shield before the season had properly started, and the Europa League, which earned United a place in the UEFA Champions League, and in the clash against Zinedine Zidane's side.


The two sides come into the game off the back of very varied pre-seasons; United have looked very comfortable, picking up victories over the likes of Manchester City and the Spanish and European champions Madrid, whereas Los Blancos have looked far less impressive, being beaten by Barcelona and Pep Guardiola's City side.

New signings Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof have impressed in pre-season and appear to have integrated into the group with consummate ease.

While it is important for the Red Devils to pick up another trophy, the clash falls just five days before their Premier League curtain raiser against West Ham, which will take priority over the meeting of the two giants of world football.

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Nemanja Matic missed out on a full pre-season at former employers Chelsea so is unlikely to be fully fit for the match in Macedonia.

Youngsters Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson are heading out on loan to Crystal Palace and Leeds respectively so will not be involved in the clash.

Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku have had successful pre-seasons and are in line to spearhead the United threat in the Super Cup.

Jesse Lingard, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young are all lacking in match fitness and are unlikely to feature from the start for Jose Mourinho.

Argentinian defender Marcos Rojo remains injured and won't be available for another few months.

Where will the game be won?

Romelu Lukaku will certainly have a big part to play as he looks to provide the goals that were so often lacking for Mourinho's men last season.

However, it will be whether or not United can fend off the talented Madrid attack that will decide whether or not they can lift another trophy. 

The likes of Matic and Lindelof have been added to further improve a United defence that held them in such good stead during their impressive unbeaten run last season. 

You'd expect them to make things tricky for Madrid, who are a little behind the Red Devils in their pre-season schedule.

However,it would be brave to bet against the European Cup holders.