Real Madrid will face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday night in the Supercopa final, having gotten past the challenge of rivals FC Barcelona in the semifinals. Los Blancos definitely outplayed their LaLiga foes in the last round at mid-week, but defensive instability with David Alaba injured and missed chances meant the game went to extra time.
Carlo Ancelotti knows his team must be more thorough in their approach against Athletic Bilbao, who played the Merengue club tough in both of their league fixtures this season. In the first one, Real were fortunate to win, as Thibaut Courtois needed to save the day.
Let’s take a look at the possible starting lineup for Real Madrid on Sunday as Ancelotti looks to bring home his first title of his second stint as manager.
GK Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois is a lock to start in goal. As we saw in the semifinal against Barcelona, the big Belgian seems to come up with a game-saving stop every other week.
LB Ferland Mendy
Ferland Mendy had one of his best matches of 2021-2022 on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia, sending social media into a frenzy with a tight dribble out of his own box. Seeing Mendy with confidence on the ball is important to Madrid, because his biggest weakness is in the accuracy of his passing. Mendy could be an X-Factor against Bilbao in terms of how much he can contribute to the attack.
CB Nacho Fernandez
David Alaba is expected to miss the final after being a late absence for the semifinal due to an injury. The No. 4’s presence was sorely missed, as Alaba is a vital leader who helps Real so much with their build-up play. Nacho Fernandez is an adequate replacement and should be good enough against Bilbao’s attack. But he cannot be overly aggressive as he was earlier this season, otherwise the opposition, led by the Williams brothers, could take advantage.
CB Eder Militao
We’ve seen a couple of rough matches from Eder Militao recently. He made a woeful error early against Getafe, which doomed Real Madrid to a loss to start 2022. And after a good performance vs. Valencia, Militao had some more mental lapses against Barcelona. Those errors did not prove costly, but the margin for error will be slimmer against a better defensive side in Athletic Club. On top of that, Militao must remain focused on balls over the top and set pieces.
RB Lucas Vazquez
Dani Carvajal will be out due to COVID-19, not an injury this time. That means Real Madrid will call Lucas Vazquez’s number again to start on Sunday evening. The long-time Madridista was very good against Barça on Wednesday, just as he has been for multiple Clasicos in a row. Hopefully, Vazquez will be game in El Viejo Clasico, as the quality of his final ball could be key to a win. He was less than impressive the last time these two teams played.