Antonio Valencia looks ahead to UEFA Super Cup clash with Real Madrid

by Leo Nieboer

Antonio Valencia has been looking ahead to Manchester United’s UEFA Super Cup clash with Real Madrid in Macedonia on Tuesday.

Jose Mourinho’s men emerged victorious from their pre-season clash with Madrid in Los Angeles back in July via one of the worst penalty shootouts in living memory.

The Portuguese has confirmed that Phil Jones and Eric Bailly will both be unavailable to play in Skopje in light of receiving two and three game bans from UEFA respectively.

And Valencia, speaking during Man United’s pre-season tour of the United States, noted that the clash presented a brilliant chance to claim some silverware.

“We are working for the Super Cup and it is our first objective,” he said.

“We are motivated, we are working hard, we are concentrated and we are hopeful that we can achieve our goal of lifting the trophy in Macedonia.”

“My main objective is always to win titles and then it is just enjoying the day to day, the training and all of the games. But winning titles is what I always look to target ahead of the season.”

Interesting fact: Madrid haven’t won a pre-season game in normal time this summer, with their only success coming from the spot against MLS All Stars.

But make no mistake, the odds are stacked firmly in favour of the European champions. How the shaky pair of Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling will fare against the ruthless brilliance of Zidane’s set-up is a prospect that some supporters may not want to think about.

Valencia, an ever reliable asset on the right hand side, will need to do more than plug his side defensively. He has to help the pair out, bringing the ball forward and setting a tempo that prevents Madrid from enjoying too much freedom in the final third.

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