European champions Real Madrid will continue their pre-season preparations ahead of the 2022-23 campaign with a fixture against Mexican team Club America on July 27. The two sides will square off against each other at the Oracle Park in San Francisco, California.
Real Madrid kicked their pre-season off with a disappointing and demoralizing defeat at the hands of their arch-rivals Barcelona. The first Clasico of the 2022-23 season was contested in front of a packed Las Vegas crowd and provided for an intense and exciting atmosphere. New Barcelona signing Raphinha scored the only goal of the match with a long-range effort from outside the box that caught Thibaut Courtois by surprise.
That match in Vegas marked the debuts of several footballers including Aurelien Tchouameni and Antonio Rudiger for Real Madrid and Robert Lewandowski for Barcelona. Although a 1-0 scoreline might not suggest a world of difference, in the end, Los Blancos were fortunate to not have it much worse since they were pretty comfortably dominated by the Catalan side.
The likes of Lewandowski, Ansu Fati, Aubameyang and Memphis Depay had plenty of chances they couldn’t capitalize on while Courtois was also in inspired form between the sticks. Meanwhile, there were little positives for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, especially in the final third as they managed to register zero shots on target on the Barcelona goal after 90 minutes of action.
The champions of Europe will now turn their attention towards Club America and Juventus for their final couple of friendlies before they return back to Spain. Real Madrid will, of course, also face the winners of the UEFA Europa League Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup fixture on August 10. They will then begin their title defence in La Liga with their first fixture being an away match against Almeria on August 14.
Los Blancos, after the failed pursuits of star attackers Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, have made only two signings this summer. They spent nearly 100 million euros on talented French midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni while German centre-back Antonio Rudiger arrived for free after the expiry of his contract with Chelsea. Both players started against Barcelona and although they didn’t exactly have the best of debuts, Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that the club’s summer transfer business has been completed and he is happy with the squad he has got.
Last season, Real Madrid were way too strong for the rest of the competition in La Liga and with the exception of the 0-4 humiliation that they suffered at the hands of Barcelona in the El Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu, they ran away with the La Liga title. With a record of 26 wins, eight draws and four defeats from their 38 matches to collect 86 points, they ended up finishing 13 points ahead of second-place Barcelona.
Of course, more sensationally, Los Blancos ended last season by becoming kings of Europe and lifting the Champions League title for the 14th time in their history. Vinicius Jr scored the only goal of the final against Liverpool after Real Madrid completed sensational comebacks against Chelsea, Manchester City, and Paris Saint Germain en route to the final.
Club America, meanwhile, have had their fair share of experience against top European clubs. They’ve already faced Chelsea and Manchester City. They lost 2-1 to Chelsea before going down with the same scoreline against Pep Guardiola’s side with Erling Haaland finding the back of the net for the English champions for the first time.
Club America, who are also nicknamed Millonetas, have won their domestic title on 13 occasions, which is a record, placing them one ahead of Guadalajara when it comes to championships. Their current season has already begun and they are four matches into it. With the help of one win, one draw as well as two losses, they have managed to pick up just four points so far and will be looking to put their foot on the accelerator soon.
The Millonetas began their season in Mexico with a goalless draw against Atlas before they ended up suffering a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Monterrey on July 10. They, however, were able to bounce back quickly with a 1-0 win over Toluca on July 14. They are arriving into this match on the back of yet another defeat as they fell 2-0 to Tijuana on Saturday with Lisandro Lopez and Joaquin Montecinos getting on the scoresheet for the opposition. This has left Club America struggling in the 15th spot on the table as things stand.
Fernando Ortiz’s side signed five new players ahead of their new season, with the standout addition being Jonathan Rodriguez, who led the line against Tijuana on Saturday.
America will fancy their chances of taking on a side as big as Real Madrid in a friendly, but they also have an important league game against Leon on August 1, so head coach Ortiz will need to carefully manage the minutes of his players here
RMA vs AMR, Club Friendly 2022/23
Date: 27th July, 2022
Time: 8:00 AM IST
Venue: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
Real Madrid Club Friendlies form
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
Club America Club Friendlies form:
Club America form (all competitions):
Real Madrid wins: 2
Club America wins: 0
Real Madrid Team News:
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that star striker Karim Benzema will be involved in action against Club America. The French number 9 missed the Clasico against Barcelona due to fitness issues which had an obvious impact on Real Madrid’s performance on the night. However, he is expected to get considerable minutes in the second half of the contest here.
With that being said, the return of first-choice right-back Dani Carvajal is unlikely at this point. The Spaniard had picked up an ankle problem in training which had also forced him to miss El Clasico against Barcelona.
Ancelotti will be tempted into making considerable changes to the side that started against their Catalan rivals in the previous encounter. Senior midfielders Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Casemiro will all be pushing for a start while Ferland Mendy is expected to start at left-back, a position that was surprisingly filled by Antonio Rudiger who is a centre-back by trade.
It will be interesting to see whether the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga receive minutes in the middle of the park. Eden Hazard, Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo will also be in contention to start the match as they did in El Clasico a few days ago.
Club America Team News:
As far as Club America are concerned, there could be a few changes in the frontline with Henry Martin potentially replacing Rodriguez. Rodriguez might be in line to come off the bench in the second half of the contest.
Head coach Ortiz will be interested to utilize his full squad in this match in order to rotate players as well as get them some match fitness. As was the case with Manchester City and Chelsea, the Mexican outfit would want to make a strong impression and will be desperate to avoid a humiliation against Real Madrid, given the state of their league campaign right now.
A bad result and being played out of the park might demoralize the players even further, even though this is a friendly. Therefore, it won’t be surprising to see a strong XI taking to the field against the Spanish and European champions. Former Barcelona man Jonathan dos Santos will be pushing for a spot in midfield while Alvaro Fidalgo is also expected to feature from the first whistle for the Eagles.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Rudiger, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo, Hazard, Vinicius Jr
Club America possible starting lineup:
Ochoa; J Sanchez, Lara, Araujo, Fuentes; R Sanchez, Dos Santos; Zendejas, Valdes, Fidalgo; Martin
Real Madrid will be more than eager to bounce back on the right track after conceding a demoralizing defeat to arch-enemies Barcelona in El Clasico in Las Vegas. The return of Karim Benzema as well as the usual midfield trio of Casemiro, Kroos and Modric starting from the outset is expected to hand Los Blancos a major upper hand and it won’t be surprising to see them pick up a victory here.