Real Madrid and Manchester United will face off in Skopje on Tuesday evening for the European Super Cup, with the Champions League and Europa League winners eager to start the season with a trophy win.
However, both Zinedine Zidane and José Mourinho have a few selection issues to address before they announce their sides for the game in the National Arena Filip II.
Zidane to retain Cardiff contingent
The Real Madrid boss is expected to start the European Super Cup with 10 of the 11 players who were on the pitch at kick-off in Cardiff in the Champions League final against Juventus. Cristiano Ronaldo has only returned to training in the last few days and although he has travelled with the squad it is unlikely Zidane will risk any injury to his star player as Ronaldo gradually builds up to full match fitness.
In that case the Frenchman will start with Keylor Navas, Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Marcelo, Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco and Karim Benzema, with the only question mark being whether Gareth Bale or Marco Asensio will get the nod – one that is likely to be a running theme this season.
Mourinho to park the bus?
The Manchester United manager’s concerns are not so much up front as in defence. Against Sampdoria in a friendly Mourinho tried out a system with five at the back and he may choose to do so again in the absence of established first-choice defenders Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones.
In midfield, it remains to be seen if Mourinho will place his faith in Marouane Fellaini or throw the recently signed Nemaja Matic in at the deep end. The Serbian was a firm favourite of the United boss during their time together at Chelsea but arrived at Old Trafford only last week in a 45-million-euro transfer.
Romelu Lukaku will start in attack with Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan vying for a place alongside the club record signing.