Real Madrid v Man Utd preview: Jose Mourinho faces old club in UEFA Super Cup final
Last Updated: 08/08/17 8:38pm
Manchester United will take on Real Madrid as the two European trophy winners meet in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday in Macedonia.
The Premier League team won the Europa League last season and Jose Mourinho will face his former side at the Philip II Arena in Skopje.
The sides have already met during pre-season in the International Champions Cup as United beat Real 2-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw, with Mourinho seeing the Super Cup fixture as a good test for his new-look side.
"It's a fantastic opportunity to play against the best team in Europe, and one thing is to do that in friendly matches in the USA, and it's quite another to play against them when they are in peak condition and fully motivated," he told UEFA.com.
"Our players don't have a wealth of experience of big European matches. This is a new Manchester United, a new generation of players.
"Last season was the Europa League, which was also so important for us in terms of gaining experience, but now we're returning to the Champions League and to the UEFA Super Cup against the best team in Europe, so it's a great opportunity."
Real Madrid became the first team to win successive Champions League titles - in its current guise - when they beat Juventus in May, taking their haul of European silverware to 12 trophies.
They also won the 2016 Super Cup against Sevilla which sparked a winning run that stretched until January, with Real manager Zinedine Zidane stressing the importance of a winning start on Tuesday.
"It was fundamental, to be honest. The truth is that we had a great season, not just the six months until January. The whole season was huge. We lost only a handful of games and in the end, we won titles. And the idea is still the same," he told UEFA.com.
"We have a good team and we are going to try our best because in football the most important thing is to give your all. And the great thing about this club, with its history, is that we know where we stand and the players are motivated and hungry to get more titles."
Manchester United will be without Eric Bailly due to a three-match ban following his red card against Anderlecht at Old Trafford in April.
Phil Jones is also unavailable due to a two-match UEFA ban for using abusive language to a doping control officer at the Europa League final.
In terms of injuries, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera are both back in action after picking up knocks on United's pre-season tour of the USA while Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young are all long-term absentees.
Serigo Romero and Jesse Lingard did not travel to Dublin for United's final pre-season friendly against Sampdoria, but could return on Tuesday.
Good news for Real Madrid fans is the inclusion of former United forward Cristiano Ronaldo in the matchday squad. He had been expected to miss the Super Cup clash after missing first-team training following an extended leave due to Portugal's run in the Confederations Cup.
Also included in the 24-man squad is goalkeeper Luca Zidane - son of the Real manager - who produced a fine display against the MLS All-Stars last week during a penalty shoot-out as the La Liga champions beat their opponents.
This match will be played in Skopje, the first UEFA club competition final to be held in FYR Macedonia.
This is Real Madrid's sixth appearance in the UEFA Super Cup (W3 L2). Having lost their first two finals, they have won the last three.
Madrid are aiming to become the first team to win successive UEFA Super Cups since AC Milan in 1989 and 1990.
Manchester United's record in the UEFA Super Cup is W1 L2.
No English club has won the UEFA Super Cup since Liverpool FC defeated CSKA Moscow in 2005. Since then, United (2008) and Chelsea FC (2012, 2013) have both lost in the match.
This is the 11th meeting between the two sides, with Madrid having won four and United two with four draws. Madrid have scored 20 goals to United's 16.