As is now tradition, I guess, the Supercopa de España is a four-team tournament played in the middle of the season in Saudi Arabia.
La Liga’s winners and runners-up, as well as the two Copa del Rey finalists, travel over 3,000 miles east to battle it out for silverware.
Real Madrid are the reigning champions of Spain and Europe, as well as the Supercopa holders, beating Barcelona and then Athletic Club in Riyāḍh 12 months ago.
That was the 12th time los Blancos have captured this this trophy, needing one more to match Barça’s record.
Right now though, Carlo Ancelotti’s team are three points below Barcelona in the table, following a shock defeat at the weekend.
It was a tale of two penalties at Estadio de la Cerámica, with Karim Benzema equalising from 12 yards, before Villarreal’s winner came via a spot-kick of their own just three minutes later.
So, having lost two of their last four La Liga games, Real Madrid will not want to slip-up in this tournament.
Valencia meantime have only ever lifted this trophy aloft once, beating Barcelona in 1999, but were defeated semi-finalists three seasons ago.
Los Che have qualified by reaching last year’s Copa del Rey Final, beaten on penalties by Real Betis at Estadio de La Cartuja.
More recently, on Friday night in fact, Gennaro Gattuso’s team suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat against strugglers Cádiz.
This means los Murciélagos have now lost both league matches since the World Cup, slipping down to 11th.
In short, Real Madrid come into this tie as big favourites, so will they prevail at King Fahd International Stadium?