Riyadh, Jan 10 (SocialNews.XYZ) Real Madrid will face Valencia in the first semifinal of the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday night.
The tournament, which is being played in Saudi Arabia for the third time, pits last season's La Liga winners Real Madrid against Copa del Rey runners-up Valencia, while the Cup winners Betis and the side that finished second in La Liga, FC Barcelona, play on Thursday night, with the final on Sunday.
Real Madrid are clear favorites to go through against Valencia despite their 2-1 defeat in Villarreal on Saturday.
Dani Carvajal has traveled with the squad to Riyadh after missing out at the weekend and could return at right back. Defender David Alaba and French international midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni will miss the tournament with calf injuries, reports Xinhua.
Alaba's absence means that Ferland Mendy will play at left back despite a poor display at the weekend, while Tchouameni's absence will open the door for either Dani Ceballos or Eduardo Camavinga to step into midfield.
Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr can both be expected to start, while Rodrygo could also be an option if Carlo Ancelotti opts to rotate his side thinking about the busy calendar that lies ahead.
Valencia had a poor start to 2023 with defeats away to Villarreal and at home to Cadiz in La Liga.
Gennaro Gattuso has lost two key players in recent days, with midfielder Nico Gonzalez breaking a bone in his foot and winger Samu Castillejo having had an operation after breaking his wrist.
Striker Marcos Andre is also doubtful for Wednesday with a muscle injury. American international Yunus Musah provided the anecdote of their trip to Riyadh on Monday when he left his passport at home and needed a family member to deliver it at full speed to the airport, where the player was waiting.