Real Madrid tackle Tottenham in an Audi Cup match at the Allianz Arena, Munich on Tuesday.
It may still be pre-season, but the Spanish outfit are already teetering on the brink of crisis, having been thumped 7-3 by Atletico Madrid in their last outing and in the midst of a dispute with Gareth Bale that is becoming increasingly ill-tempered and drawn out.
Spurs, meanwhile, also come into this match off the back of a defeat – they went down 2-1 to Manchester United in an ICC game – but did record an impressive victory over Juventus before that.
|Game||Real Madrid vs Tottenham|
|Date||Tuesday, July 30|
|Time||5:00pm BST / 12:00 noon ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the US, the match will not be available for broadcast though it will be streamed on ESPN+.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the UK, the match will be shown on ITV 4. It can be streamed via The ITV Hub.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|ITV 4||The ITV Hub|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Real Madrid squad|
|Goalkeepers||Navas, Lunin, Altube|
|Defenders||Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Odriozola, Javi Hernandez, De la Fuente, Miguel Gutierrez|
|Midfielders||Kroos, Modric, Valverde, Isco, Seoane|
|Forwards||Mariano, Benzema, Lucas V., Vinicius Jr., Hazard, Rodrygo, Kubo|
Gareth Bale has not been included in the 24-man squad as he seeks to manufacture a move away from Real Madrid.
James Rodriguez, Eder Militao and Casemiro have been left out as they build up fitness.
Thibaut Courtois has an ankle sprain so has not travelled to Germany, while Luka Jovic has a knock and has not travelled.
Benjamin Mendy, Brahim Diaz and Marco Asensio were all fitness concerns before the Atleti clash.
Real Madrid starting XI: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric; Lucas V., Rodrygo, Hazard; Benzema
|Goalkeepers||Lloris, Gazzaniga, Whiteman|
|Defenders||Foyth, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Walker-Peters, Tanganga, Rose, Sanchez|
|Midfielders||Alli, Ndombele, Sissoko, Winks, Skipp, Georgiou, Marsh, Roles, White, Lamela, Eriksen|
|Forwards||Kane, Son, Lucas, Parrott, Nkoudou|
Tottenham are without Serge Aurier, who has undergone surgery on a hand injury and is in non-contact training.
Victor Wanyama has a minor knee concern and will be monitored, while Eric Dier, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Ben Davies are working their way back to fitness.
Tottenham starting XI: Gazzaniga; Foyth, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Winks, Ndombele; Lamela, Eriksen, Son; Kane
Betting & Match Odds
Real Madrid can be backed at 23/20 to win this match at Bet365. A draw is priced at 11/4 while a Tottenham victory can be backed at 2/1.
Competitive football may be three weeks away for Real Madrid, but the pressure is already building on Zinedine Zidane’s side, who have failed to win any of their three pre-season friendlies in normal time.
A victory over Arsenal on penalties is small consolation given they were wretched in a 3-1 loss to Bayern Munich, who they could face again on Wednesday in either the final or third-fourth play-off, and even worse as they slumped 7-3 to Atletico Madrid.
Zidane certainly seemed to be feeling the strain after that derby defeat in the USA.
“They scored seven goals, it can't happen,” he fumed in the aftermath. “You don't have to spin it over. It's a pre-season game. They've been better at everything. There is nothing more to talk about.”
The Frenchman may talk about being calm, but ahead of Tuesday’s Audi Cup match with Tottenham in Munich, he will appreciate that there must be a change of fortune and attitude.
After finishing a distant third in La Liga last season, losing three of their last four games to boot, the last thing that Zidane needs is another defeat.
Away from the field, matters are complicated by the ongoing presence of Gareth Bale, whose transfer saga has been an unwelcome sideshow that has only served to undermine Madrid further. For now, the situation remains at an impasse, such that he has not even travelled to potentially face his former club.
Spurs may be coming into the match off the back of a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United, but a previous win over Juventus, which was marked by a Harry Kane wonder-goal, means that Mauricio Pochettino’s side can at least feel they are on the right track.
“Both performances have been fantastic,” the Argentine said. “I think the behaviour of the players, on and off the pitch, has been fantastic. We’re building our fitness and the way we want to play for next season. There’s a lot of positive things.”
Zidane cannot yet say the same, but a victory over the Champions League runners-up would help to change that, with the winners of this clash to play a final against either the hosts or Fenerbahce on Wednesday.