Real Madrid and Barcelona are set to do battle in Saudi Arabia for the Spanish Super Cup, having both come through semi-final clashes earlier this week.
Real will be out to follow up their win in the season’s first El Clasico, while Barcelona have a point to prove. The Catalans are trailing their old rivals by seven points in La Liga, so starting 2024 with a trophy would be a real boost for Xavi and his team.
Jude Bellingham is enjoying an incredible debut season in the Spanish capital, establishing himself among the best players in the world. The former Birmingham City man has already hit 13 goals in La Liga so far this term, two of which came in his first El Clasico.
Bellingham turned the first meeting between these two on its head earlier this season. He scored twice to give Real a 2-1 win at Barca and the Englishman looks like the standout option to net in this clash.
Bellingham has 17 goals since arriving at Real and he’s their biggest goal threat. Karim Benzema’s departure left the Spanish giants short in attack and the England ace has stepped up in his place.
Having averaged close to a goal per game in La Liga this term, back the latest Galactico to net in this clash.
Rudiger has been a solid signing for Real Madrid but he’s been quite card-prone so far this term. The German international has been cautioned seven times in La Liga, which is more than any player across these two sides.
Rudiger does have previous, having picked up nine bookings in his final season with Chelsea in 2021/22. However, he looks set for a career-high in bookings this term. The centre-half will need to keep Robert Lewandowski quiet, but he’ll also be covering their left flank against the pace of Lamine Yamal.
This looks set to be a tricky evening for Rudiger, so he’s good value for a booking.
Frenkie De Jong isn’t exactly a midfield enforcer but the absence of Gavi - Barcelona’s leader in fouls this term - could push the Dutchman into a more protective role.
The former Ajax midfielder has averaged 1.2 fouls per game in La Liga this term, while he leads Barca players with five bookings in the league already.
The Dutchman ended 2023 with four bookings in his final five games and with Barca’s central trio up against a four-man Real midfield, De Jong should be busy. Back him to end up in the referee’s notebook once again.
Real remain without Thibaut Courtois, with Andriy Lunin and Kepa set to fight over the starting spot in goal. Carlo Ancelotti is also without David Alaba and Eder Militao, leaving them short in defence.
Jude Bellingham is expected to start in an attacking midfield role behind Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo.
Like Real, Barca are also missing their first-choice keeper with Marc-Andre ter Stegen absent for this one. Defenders Joao Cancelo, Inigo Martinez and Marcos Alonso are missing, while Raphinha is a doubt after being taken off in their semi-final win over Osasuna.
These two sides have met 16 times in the Spanish Super Cup, with Real Madrid winning nine of those encounters.
However, Barcelona are the defending Super Cup champions and the most successful side in the history of the competition. They won it for the 14th time a year ago, beating Real Madrid in Riyadh in the final.
|Real Madrid wins
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.