Bale back in town to tour guide Real Madrid to cup glory once more
Spain may have utterly failed at the World Cup in Brazil this summer, but at club level the nation are on top of Europe. The country represented both sides in last season’s Champions League final, as well as the winner of the Europa League, meaning those two teams will meet in the annual UEFA Super Cup.
Real Madrid (odds-on at 4/9 for victory in 90 minutes) will face fellow Spaniards Sevilla (6/1) at the Cardiff City Stadium on August 12th, as the duo aim to win their second trophy in this competition.
This fixture will be a special one for a couple of members involved with Real, but in particular Welsh wing wizard Gareth Bale, who returns to his home city to collect more silverware.
The 25-year-old Madrid superstar has already gained a place in the capital club’s hearts, after his winner in the Copa del Rey and crucial second goal for his side in the Champions League final, in his debut season. You can back Bale, who scored 15 times in La Liga last term, to net last again at 9/2 or 6/1 to bag a brace or better.
Boss Carlo Ancelotti also has reason to look forward to this encounter and one that he takes seriously, as he will be aiming for a hat-trick of Super Cup victories, after he won in 2003 and 2007 with AC Milan.
“It’s a very important match,” the Italian said. “It is special because it is the first official match after the World Cup that several of my players have participated in.
“We want to win the Super Cup. When you play in a final you prepare to win it and give your all. As with all finals, it will be very difficult, although we may be favourites because we are Real Madrid.”
Reports also suggest that new signings Colombian sensation James Rodriguez and World Cup winner Toni Kroos are set to feature for the first time in Real colours, and are 6/5 and 10/3 respectively to score anytime.
Ballon d’Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, who is still returning to fitness, could also take part, and is 11/4 to net last. He has remarkably scored seven in his last three matches against the Red and Whites.
When it comes to head-to-heads, though, Real and Sevilla are evenly matched in recent seasons. They have two wins each in their previous four meetings, with the latter coming out on top last in March. Sevilla beat their foes 2-1 that day, and are 22/1 to do so again.
The two games prior to that, though, Real were comprehensive 7-3 and 4-1 victors. Ancelotti’s men are 17/5 to score four or more again, while there are odds of 4/1 for the match goal total to be over 4.5.
If you fancy someone for Sevilla to fins the net, back Colombian Carlos Bacca. The forward scored 21 times in all competitions last term, including three against Real, and is an 11/4 shot to get a goal anytime.
Left back Alberto Moreno, meanwhile, will no doubt be watched in the crowd by Liverpool scouts, as the Reds are tracking the 22-year-old. He is a 12/1 chance in the same scorer market.