Both Valencia and Real Madrid will jet off to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to face off against each other in the semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup. As a part of the deal to promote the sport in Saudi Arabia, four teams will now participate in the Spanish Super Cup this year, as opposed to the two-team affair that was earlier in place. Valencia will face off against Real Madrid at the King Abdullah Sports City on January 8 (Wednesday night, 12:30 am IST).
If the previous format of the Spanish Super Cup were in place, Valencia would face off against Barcelona for the cup. However, the new and improved (read: marketable) format of the Spanish Super Cup will welcome the ever-marketable Real Madrid and their cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid. Heading into the game against Valencia, Zinedine Zidane will be without the services of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard. Valencia, on the other hand, will miss Rodrigo Moreno in the attack, although manager Albert Celades will have the option of fielding Kevin Gameiro upfront.
26 - Thibaout Courtois has saved 26 of the last 28 shots on target he has faced for @realmadriden in @LaLigaEN (two goals conceded), including all four against Getafe. Octopus. pic.twitter.com/gbMaVPZzN6— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 6, 2020
With Thibaut Courtois' resurgence in the last couple of weeks in LaLiga, Valencia will be hard-pressed to beat the Belgium shot-stopper. Courtois has now kept nine clean sheets in LaLiga despite an indifferent start to the season. With Goncalo Guedes out of the Spanish Super Cup semi-final and Rodrigo Moreno still nursing a knee injury, Maxi Gomez will have to lead the attack for Valencia. However, with the likes of Isco, Rodrygo, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos at Zinedine Zidane's disposal, Real Madrid will be the favourites for this fixture.
📺 Celades: "We have a very big challenge ahead of us and we see it as an opportunity"— Valencia CF English 🦇💯 (@valenciacf_en) January 7, 2020
📺 Gayà: "We're facing this game with the utmost excitement; there's a trophy at stake"#ValenciaRealMadrid ⚽️#Supercopa2020 🏆 pic.twitter.com/ccWwY3j2px