sport

Super Cup final preview

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is ready to unleash the full might of his enviable playing resources in Tuesday's UEFA Super Cup clash against La Liga rivals Sevilla.

World Cup stars James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, signed from Monaco and Bayern Munich this summer, are set to feature in Ancelotti's starting line-up at Cardiff City Stadium.

They will be paraded alongside the likes of Wales star Gareth Bale and goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo as Real target more European silverware just under a fortnight before their domestic campaign begins.

"Kroos has done well in the last five days, and I think he is ready to face this match," Ancelotti said, during his pre-match press conference in Cardiff. "He is up to the task, and I think he will play tomorrow.

"Rodriguez is a fantastic player. He ran a lot in the World Cup, and he can help the team to be better. He will start.

"It's true we have had players who have come late to the team, with not a lot of training, but we are pleased with the state of preparation.

"Cristiano is well, he has no problem. I feel he's in good physical condition and has done everything to participate in this game. He is facing this game in good spirit.

"It's an honour for me to be the manager of Real Madrid. I have a fantastic squad, and the club has worked hard this summer to have a better squad. The squad has plenty of confidence to have a good season."

Despite 32-time Spanish champions Real going into the game, which will be played in front of a 30,000-plus capacity crowd, as clear favourites, Ancelotti is taking nothing for granted.

"We are facing a hard team who beat us last season," he added.

"We have to put up a fight, and if we do that it will be a very positive outcome for Real Madrid for the whole season.

"This is a final of the Super Cup, the start of the season, and we need to start with a win, but the real start of the season will be when we start La Liga and the Champions League."

Sevilla coach Unai Emery says Liverpool target Alberto Moreno will play for the Europa League winners.

"I expect him to play for us tomorrow," said Emery, without offering any further comment on reports the defender will move to Anfield after the showpiece in Cardiff.

Emery claims his team are spirited enough to cope with whatever Real throw at them.

"We have tried to think about the initial line-up they may have, but we have prepared regardless of who will play," he said.

"The handicap that might play in favour - or against us - is that Kroos and James have not yet played with Real Madrid, but we cannot prepare just for them. We have to see what their entire line-up will be.

"They are football players of the highest level, players of the highest rank in physical and technical terms. They know how to give their best.

"You can spend more time defending than attacking, but you have to have a balance. You have to be ready defensively. We have to base our defence on a tight formation and face off one-on-one with their players so they don't have numerical superiority, but if we have possession we need to have speed to go forward.

"The strategies are important. They have important players - Kroos is a great playmaker - but we have our tools and weapons.

"They are the favourites, but we have a lot of passion and we are convinced we can compete and take this spirit to overcome obstacles on the pitch."