For the first time since last season's Champions League final, Real Madrid meets Atlético Madrid in the first leg of the 2014 Spanish Super Cup. This two-leg affair pits the defending La Liga champion, Atléti against the current holder of the Copa del Rey, Real.
This is the second straight season Atléti will play for the Super Cup, having lost to Barcelona last season. Real Madrid are coming off a win over Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup, and will be looking to claim this trophy for the second time in three years.
Key Player: Mario Mandžukić (Atlético Madrid)
With Atléti talisman Diego Costa sold to Chelsea, new striker Mario Mandžukić will be under heavy pressure to replace the goal-scoring that the fiery Brazilian turned Spaniard provided. Mandžukić is definitely a different player than Costa, and he lacks the individual brilliance that Atléti fans got used to seeing from their departed striker -- the Croatian is a hard working goal poacher with excellent aerial skills, but he's less of an athlete.
With the likes of Arda Turan, Antoine Griezmann and Mario Suárez running around behind him and firing balls in to the box, there's every reason to believe Mandžukić will fit right in. That said, he's still got a lot to prove. A goal or two against Real Madrid in the Super Cup would certainly help.
Key Matchup: Iker Casillas vs. Keylor Navas
When former Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho made Diego López the regular starter in goal over Iker Casillas, he started a controversy that would simmer for over a year. When Carlo Ancelotti took over from Mourinho last summer, he stuck with López, using Casillas as the backup/cup goalkeeper. With López gone and Keylor Navas signed as his replacement, Los Blancos have yet another goalkeeper controversy on their hands.
For some, this isn't really a controversy thanks to Casillas' inconsistent form when he has played. Navas is coming off a stellar World Cup, and was easily the best goalkeeper in La Liga last season for Levante. Ancelotti no doubt has a plan, but he'd do well to make a decision soon before this story becomes an on-going issue for the media to pick at him about week after week.
Real Madrid injuries and suspensions
In Doubt: Gareth Bale (back), Pepe (calf).
Atlético Madrid injuries and suspensions
Out: Arda Turan (thigh).
Neither Bale's or Pepe's injuries are considered serious, and there's a good chance both could end up starting the match. Should Bale be unavailable, Ancelotti would likely use some combination of James Rodriguez and Àngel di María in the attack with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Diego Simeone will be missing one of Atléti's best midfielder with Arda Turn sidelined due to a right thigh injury. Fortunately, the Atléti boss has a solid option to take over on the left wing in the form of summer signing Antoine Griezmann.
Match Date/Time: Tuesday, 11 p.m. local, 5 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain
TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes (U.S.), Sky Sports 5/HD (U.K.), GolTV (Canada)
Online: Watch ESPN (U.S.), Sky Go (U.K.)