UEFA and their governing body have decided to implement some new rules for this year’s edition of the European Super Cup between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in Estonia. There will be an additional substitution allowed if the game goes to extra time—a rule that was in effect this summer at the World Cup in Russia and one that will continue with the Champions League and Europa League this season. In addition to the extra substitution, UEFA will allow for 12 on the bench rather than the usual 7 players selected for each team. Electronic communication can now be used in the dugout, but only handheld devices like smartphones or iPads. Among the many changes, VAR was not included so Polish referee Szymon Marciniak will be at the center of any controversial calls.
The Super Cup will pose as Julen Lopetegui’s first real test and the first real insight into his preferred starting XI as well as those he selects for minutes from the bench. The selection headache will be made a little bit easier given the change in the number of players allowed to be named on the bench. There are plotlines to follow tonight in Estonia: How will Keylor perform? Will Vincius Junior have a role to play? How does Madrid tactically set-up vs a defensively rigid, low-block, counter-attacking team?