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Real, Atletico in Super Cup showdown

Real, Atletico in Super Cup showdown

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Real Madrid start a new era when they face Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in Estonia on Wednesday (kick-off 8pm BST).

Real have seen Cristiano Ronaldo depart this summer, along with head coach Zinedine Zidane.

Julen Lopetegui has replaced Zidane but the only signings so far have been defender Alvaro Odriozola, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Brazilian youngster Vinicius Junior.

All three of the new additions could make their competitive debuts against Atletico at the 15,000-capacity A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn.

Ronaldo’s departure could mean a bigger role in the team for Gareth Bale, who spent much of last season on the bench but has impressed in pre-season.

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Real have won the Champions League three years in a row and Lopetegui is aware of the expectations.

“There is not more pressure because it is against Atletico Madrid, it is a final and a trophy which means that we will give everything, we are obliged to win everything,” he told UEFA.

“The club gives us what we need so that we can do our work in the best manner and so we are privileged because of this.

“We will try to be a good team, make the most of what we have collectively and individually for the collective good. We will have a clear style, defined, which makes the most of the individuals that we have.”

Much of Real’s success in the Champions League in recent seasons has come at Atletico’s expense.

Diego Simeone’s side were beaten in the 2014 and 2016 finals by Real and also lost in the semi-finals in 2017.

But they won the Europa League last season and have strengthened over the summer with the signings of Thomas Lemar, Gelson Martins, Rodri, Nikola Kalinic and Santiago Arias.

“We have a new group with a lot of fresh arrivals, who will each need to adapt,” said Simeone. “That will take time. We have also seen some leaders leave the dressing-room so others must now step up.

“What you can’t say is just because you have some big names you have a great team. It’s the strength of the group that makes a strong squad.”

Luka Modric has been named in the Real Madrid squad despite continued uncertainty over his future.

Modric remains a target for Inter Milan but Sky in Italy report the chances of Real president Florentino Perez letting Modric leave for the Nerazzurri are decreasing.

The post Real, Atletico in Super Cup showdown appeared first on – The Sun News.

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