Real Madrid vs. Sevilla: How Teams Will Line Up in European Super Cup

Paul Wilkes@@paulwilkesfootyFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2014

Real Madrid vs. Sevilla: How Teams Will Line Up in European Super Cup

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Last year's Champions League and Europa League winners face off in Cardiff in a fantastic advertisement for La Liga.

    The Spanish competition is often publicised as only about the big two clubs, but with Atletico Madrid surprisingly taking top spot and Sevilla claiming a European trophy it illustrates the underlying strength the league possesses.

    Both sides will be hoping for further improvement domestically this term, as Los Blancos aim to win the title and Sevilla attempt to join Europe's elite in the Champions League.

    It's been a busy summer in the transfer market at both teams and the managers' selections will depend heavily on the fitness of their returning players.

Formations

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    Carlo Ancelotti's preferred systems last season were 4-3-3 and 4-4-2, which meant that young sensation Isco was marginalised by November.

    The former Malaga no. 10 was forced to adapt to either a central-midfield position or work as a false nine when given an opportunity.

    This makes the signing of James Rodriguez a slightly complex one.

    The natural assumption is that the Italian will revert back to the 4-2-3-1 which he started with and was used by Jose Mourinho, when the Colombian is playing.

    For Unai Emery, it's about maintaining the momentum already created and any new additions finding a role in his 4-2-3-1.

Goalkeepers

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    The goalkeeping situation at the Bernabeu has been complicated further by the arrival of Keylor Navas from Levante, although former Sevilla shot-stopper Diego Lopez has since departed.

    Iker Casillas will be given the opportunity to confirm he should be the club's first choice for the season, but any mistakes could have huge ramifications for the future.

    His ineffective time in Brazil means that he's under greater scrutiny than ever and Marca are reporting the encounter as "make or break" for the club captain.

    In his favour though, he hasn't lost a final for four years, per Marca.

    Beto had an impressive campaign in goal for Sevilla and was able to dislodge Eduardo as Portugal's No. 1 during the World Cup.

Defenders

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    Daniel Carvajal was left out of Vicente Del Bosque's Spain squad this summer, but he will be eager to make amends for his club side.

    Pepe and Sergio Ramos will be hoping they can put the last couple of months behind them.

    As a partnership, they were extremely effective in the run-in and need a strong display to wipe away any negativity.

    With Marcelo's run to the semi-finals of the World Cup, Fabio Coentrao will be at left-back.

    This is a final so expect Emery to field his strongest possible defensive unit.

    Coke, Fernando Fazio and Nicolas Pareja were all part of the team that beat Benfica on penalties.

    Alberto Moreno is still expected to join Liverpool in the coming days, so he will be given a send-off in Wales, according to David Maddock of The Mirror.

     

Midfielders

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    Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

    Xabi Alonso is suspended after his exuberant celebrations in Lisbon got him in trouble with football's governing body, via The Mirror.

    Toni Kroos may have only resumed training in the last week, but he's more than ready to make his debut and show his ability, via Marca.

    The German will provide the strength and power alongside Luka Modric in the double pivot.

    Emery rotated his central pairing regularly in the last campaign.

    He's likely to opt for Daniel Carrico and Vicente Iborra in this one.

Attackers

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    Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

    Ancelotti isn't looking to play his cards close to his chest.

    He wants to see how his impressive foursome of Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema combine on the big occasions, via Marca.

    Sevilla is a little more difficult to predict and with Ivan Rakitic leaving for Barcelona, the three behind the striker will probably be Jairo Samperio, Vitolo and Jose Antonio Reyes.

    There are plenty of options to lead the line, but Carlos Bacca should be given the task.