The first piece of European silverware of the season is up for grabs in Skopje on Tuesday night and for both sides involved the UEFA Super Cup represents an important challenge.
Manchester United's summer has been characterised by big money signings and having made it back into the Champions League, Jose Mourinho and his men are determined to maintain their place among the continent's elite.
Mourinho meticulously counts every piece of silverware as a title when recalling his individual success as a coach, although victory over Madrid would mean much more to him than just another medal.
The Portuguese manager has unfinished business with the side from the Spanish capital after spending three divisive years at the Bernabeu, while for United as an institution, beating the current European champions would send a serious signal of intent for the forthcoming campaign.
Madrid, meanwhile, have hitherto been less ostentatious in the transfer market prefering instead to continue what is an increasingly shrewd policy of signing young Spanish talent before they become superstars. Tuesday's game is important for Zinedine Zidane as the manager has spent most of the summer speaking of Los Blancos' continuing motivation for titles.
It is perhaps not easy to gear up the world's most complete squad for another gruelling campaign after having enjoyed one of the most successful season's in the club's 115-year history. Nevertheless, the manager insists his players' desire has not waned and Tuesday is a chance for them to win the first of six available trophies this season.
dabblebet price the La Liga champions at 2/5 (1.40) to lift the trophy and at 19/20 (1.95) to win it inside 90 minutes, while United are offered at 7/4 (2.75) and 14/5 (3.80) respectively. The draw, meanwhile, is 13/5 (3.60) and that was the outcome when the sides met two weeks ago in Santa Clara in the International Champions Cup, with United going on to triumph on penalties following a 1-1 stalemate.
Cristiano Ronaldo's place in the squad has been confirmed, with the current Ballon d'Or holder having only retured to training on Saturday following an extended summer break. If he is not fit enough for a place in the starting line-up, Ronaldo's place in the starting 11 is likely to be taken by Marco Asensio who opened the scoring in last season's Super Cup with a stunning strike against Sevilla.
On that occasion Madrid needed two late goals, eventually winning 3-2 after extra time, and another high scoring game could be on the cards. Over 2.5 goals paid out in the vast majority of Madrid's matches last season with their biggest games proving to be goal-filled encounters. The Uefa Super Cup, the final of the Club World Cup, the Clasico at the Bernabeu as well as both legs of their Champions League quarter finals and semi finals all saw over 2.5 goals, before Zidane's men recorded a high scoring win in the final of Europe's premier club competition.
Of course, United last season were not so regularly involved in such high-scoring fixtures, with Mourinho's side struggling in the final third often in front of their own fans. Yet their reinforcement over the summer has shown signs of bringing genuine improvement going forward and in pre-season United have looked threatening.
All this therefore means that the price of 3/4 (1.75) for over 2.5 goals is well worthy of consideration, while over 3.5 goals can be backed at the appealing odds of 7/4 (2.75) in what could be a high-profile shootout to kick-off the season.