For the first time in a long time neither Manchester United nor Real Madrid will have Cristiano Ronaldo in the lineup. Certainly new eras for two of the world’s biggest clubs, Real look to start anew with their first match in the International Champions Cup.
Around this time last year, Real took on Barcelona at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. Now, they take on Manchester United in the exact same stadium. United are coming off a 4-1 loss to Liverpool.
While these matches are friendlies, it’s a good chance for some match practice before the season’s start and a chance for American fans to see their teams play. It’s also a great chance for new manager Julen Lopetegui to get a good look at some of the youth players Real have at their disposal.
Injuries / Suspensions
Real have no injuries to their tour roster. United will likely be without Ander Herrera, Chris Smalling, and Eric Bailly after they all did not train with the team. They will also still be missing Diogo Dalot, Sergio Romero, and Nemanja Matic. Anthony Martial will miss after recently becoming a father.
Of course, there are no suspensions for either side.
Casilla; Odriozola, Vallejo, Sanchez, Theo; Ceballos, Llorente, Valverde/Odegaard; Vinicius, Bale, Benzema
Keylor Navas likely won’t start until later in the preseason. Alvaro Odriozola should get his first start as a Real Madrid player. There will be a decision for Lopetegui to make if he wants to see Federico Valverde and Martin Odegaard, though we’ll likely see both because of the unlimited substitutions. Bale, Benzema, and Vinicius will also be starting as a trio. The bench can all come on, so we’ll also likely see Mayoral, Llorente, and Raul.
De Gea; Darmian, Tuanzebe, Fosu-Mensah, Shaw; Fred, Chong, McTominay, Pereira, Mata; Alexis
3-1 Real Madrid-Manchester United
Ultimately, the results of this match really don’t matter. What you want from this game is entertainment and the chance to see some of the Castilla players and the best of Real’s youth. Seeing the likes of Vinicius, Odegaard, and Valverde is exciting in itself to get a glimpse of the future of Real Madrid.
With Bale and Benzema starting, they could really do some damage against United’s backline, though De Gea getting his first start of the tournament may prevent that. Manchester United haven’t been very good this preseason so far, with Jose Mourinho already looking displeased. This should absolutely play to Real’s advantage.
You also hope for Bale to put on a stellar performance, not only because he will be heavily relied on without Ronaldo but also because of how many times he’s been linked with United this summer alone. There’ll be no shortage of rumors if Bale and Mourinho are pictured chatting together before/after the match.
The first match of the preseason of the 2018/19 season is upon us and it’s going to be great to see what the youth has in store for Real Madrid and the fans in Miami.