Yes, the UEFA Super Cup is a glorified Community Shield.
But it’s a desirable crown and when it’s contested between arguably the two biggest clubs in the world you get some pleasingly competitive football.
Most importantly, Dream Team fantasy football managers got to have a look at Jose Mourinho’s primary tactics for the season ahead.
Man United’s summer spending should make them a force to be reckoned with this campaign.
Goalscorer Romelu Lukaku is the obvious fantasy football choice if you believe the Old Trafford club will prosper but tonight’s Super Cup unearthed a potential gem.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s talents are no secret but last season he did most of his best work during United’s successful Europa League run.
This season though, it seems he has a slightly different role.
With Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera anchoring the midfield, the Armenian midfielder will seemingly be deployed in a very advanced role alongside Lukaku.
Whenever United put Madrid under pressure in the first half, it was because of Mkhitaryan’s direct dribbling or daring runs – though the La Liga champions did enjoy the majority of possession and won the game 2-1.
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The former Borussia Dortmund playmaker has been superb during pre-season and is set to be a regular starter in the Premier League for the opening weeks.
And United’s fixtures are favourable as well.
They’re the only team out of the established top six who don’t have to face another title contender in the first two months of the season.
Mkhitaryan has a reputation for needing a season to settle in to a new club.
His performances last season were far from below par but expect more from him this year.
His first seasons at both Shaktar Donetsk and Dortmund paled into comparison with what he produced in the seasons that followed.
Still not convinced?
Let’s talk about price — a hugely important topic for any self-respecting fantasy football manager.
If Mkhitaryan is going to be United’s starting second line of attack then £4.5m seems more than reasonable.
Compare that to his rivals (Dele Alli £6m, Mesut Ozil £5.5m, Eden Hazard £7m) and he’s practically a bargain.
Mkhitaryan has scored 20+ goals in a season twice in his career when deployed in an advanced role.
We’re backing him to better his tally of 11 last season and rack up plenty more points as well.
It’s not so much Mkhitaryan’s performance in the Super Cup that should encourage you though, more his role.
An advanced starter for a potentyially much-improved United team at £4.5m — very tempting.
As for Victor Lindelof (£4.0m), the new recruit in defence looked unconvincing in the first half.
He could have done better with Casemiro’s goal and let Gareth Bale away from too easily on a couple of occasions.
Eric Bailly will almost definitely start come the weekend and if Lindelof’s performance against Madrid (and pre-season in general) is anything to go by, the Swedish centre-back may be warming the bench.
Just something to consider.
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