Real Madrid vs Eintracht Frankfurt predictions: Benz driven to succeed
Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt meet in the Super Cup on Wednesday, with the annual fixture taking place for the 47th time.
Los Blancos beat Liverpool to claim their record-extending 14th European Cup in May, 10 days after Eintracht had beaten Rangers on penalties to claim their second Europa League crown.
The Spanish champions are the favourites but are yet to play a competitive game in 2022-23, with their LaLiga campaign not kicking off until Sunday at Almeria.
Meanwhile, Eintracht faced the toughest of all starts to their Bundesliga campaign against Bayern Munich. Bayern ran out 6-1 winners, and Oliver Glasner's side will need to improve if they are to win this competition for the first time in the club's history.
Carlo Ancelotti looks to have a fully fit squad to choose from and may look to give some of his fringe stars a run with an eye on Sunday's game.
New signings Antonio Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni will hope to start. However, the Italian may initially field a similar side to the one that featured in the Champions League final before switching things up in the second half.
Jerome Onguene and Aurelio Buta are both absent for Eintracht, while Juventus-bound Filip Kostic has not made the trip to Helsinki.
The Super Cup has been an entertaining fixture in recent years, with the last seven editions seeing both teams scoring. Six of those have required extra-time to find a winner, including the previous four.
Real have lifted this trophy four times, one shy of the record which is shared by AC Milan and Barcelona. They have also been runners-up three times, most recently in 2018.
Wednesday will mark Eintracht's Super Cup debut, and they will need to be wary of Karim Benzema, who scored 15 times in Real's successful run to Champions League glory last term.
These two famously met in the final of the European Cup in 1960. Real's Alfredo di Stefano scored a hat-trick, only to be outshone by colleague Ferenc Puskas, who grabbed four goals of his own in a remarkable 7-3 victory at Glasgow's Hampden Park.
Real are the favourites for the game, and understandably so. A chance to match Barcelona's tally of five Super Cup victories will be motivation enough for Los Blancos, but they will also be looking to make a winning start to their season.
As they showed against both Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City on their run to last term's Champions League final, they have a unique knack for blowing teams away in double-quick time.
Last season's LaLiga winners will expect to do the same on Wednesday against a Frankfurt side who conceded five first-half goals last Friday.
Benzema's form last season was magnificent, and he will be hoping to kick on by scoring in this fixture for the second time in his career, having previously done so in 2018 against Atletico Madrid.
A look at the two sides on paper hints that this game might be settled in 90 minutes.