Real Madrid vs Sevilla: Uefa Super Cup 2014 match preview

A look ahead to the European curtain raiser at the Cardiff City Stadium

All-stars against minnows? Globetrotters against Andalusian upstarts? Perhaps those narratives undersell the level of competitiveness of tonight’s European Super Cup final – but only slightly. The 24-point gap between the sides in last season’s La Liga tells its own story – and that gap has become a chasm over the ensuing summer.

Real look set to field the most expensive strike force of all time, with £80 million plus men Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo spearheading a side whose creativity will come from James Rodriguez – a snip at £63 million. Behind that trio will sit the decidedly attack-minded Toni Kroos – a veritable bargain-basement purchase at £30 million from Bayern Munich.

Sevilla’s presence at the Millennium Stadium is something of a surprise. A fading force in recent years, Unai Emery’s side ground their way to the Europa League trophy beating a skilful Benfica side 4-2 in the final in Turin. Emery is known for his ability to bring organisation to teams on a budget and he has applied the lessons learned during six years at cash-strapped Almeria and Valencia to Sevilla.

The scale of Emery’s task in wresting the Super Cup from Los Blancos is amply demonstrated by Sevilla’s anaemia in the transfer market. Their best player and most creative force from last season, Ivan Rakitic has departed to Barcelona, and the only other attacking standout Diego Perotti moved to Genoa in July. In recent years, huge profits have been made on Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas – without the accompanying reinvestment.

Real, infamously, have gone through a period of paucity in Europe in spite of their yearly monster transfer outlays. The 2014 Champions League was their first in 12 years, a period in which Sevilla won two European trophies. Carlo Ancelotti’s side will expect to add a second European title in the space of three months in South Wales this evening – though as always, they must beware overconfidence.

KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 7.45pm

PAST MEETINGS:

Sevilla 2 (Bacca 2) 2 Real Madrid 1 (Ronaldo), La Liga, March 2014

Real Madrid 7 (Bale 2, Ronaldo 3, Benzema 2) Sevilla 3 (Rakitic 2, Bacca), La Liga, October 2013

Real Madrid 4 (Benzema, Ronaldo 3) Sevilla 1 (Del Moral), La Liga, February 2013

STATS:

1 Super Cup victory each for Real Madrid and Sevilla, in 2002 and 2006 respectively

4 Super Cup between teams from the same country after 1990, 1993 and 2006

90 wins for Real Madrid in 172 total meetings between the teams, compared to Sevilla’s 53

8-0 The score by which Real beat Sevilla in the 1957/58 European Champions Clubs' Cup quarter-final.

ODDS:

Real Madrid to win: 1.16

Sevilla to win: 4.5

TV: Sky Sports 5 and ITV4 7.45pm

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Ed Miliband and David Cameron are neck and neck in the polls
election 2015Armando Iannucci: on how British politics is broken
News
i100
Life and Style
Great minds like Einstein don't think alike
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power