Hello and welcome to FedExField for tonight’s exo between Real Madrid and Arsenal. Two of European soccer’s most storied powers are spitting distance from America’s capital at the 82,000-seat home of Washington’s NFL team for a big-ticket pre-season friendly that represents their first meeting in any setting since a 2008 date in the Emirates Cup which the Gunners won 1-0.
Arsenal enter with three wins in three in their pre-season tour of the United States, fresh off Saturday’s 3-0 win over Fiorentina in Charlotte, while Real Madrid have dropped three straight dating back to last season: Saturday’s pre-season opener in Houston (3-1 to Bayern Munich) and a pair of May fixtures to close their La Liga slate (3-1 at Real Sociedad and 2-0 to Real Betis).
Kickoff is roughly 20 minutes from now on a humid 74F (23C) evening in Prince George’s County so let’s get right to the team sheets, where three of Zinedine Zidane’s new signings (Jovic, Mendy, Hazard) feature among the starters:
XI: Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Ferland Mendy; Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Lucas Vazquez, Eden Hazard; Karim Benzema, Luka Jovic
Subs: Thibaut Courtois, Andriy Lunin, Raphael Varane, Marcelo, Isco, Marco Asensio, Takefusa Kubo, Alvaro Odriozola, Vinicius Junior, Mariano Diaz, Rodrygo Goes, Diego Altube, Javi Hernandez, Adrian de la Fuente, Alvaro Fidalgo, Gareth Bale
XI: Emiliano Martinez; Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Calum Chambers, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Sead Kolasinac; Joe Willock, Granit Xhaka, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Mesut Ozil; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang; Alexandre Lacazette
Bench: Bernd Leno. Shkodran Mustafi, Carl Jenkinson, James Olayinka, Reiss Nelson, Robbie Burton, Nacho Monreal, Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, Matt Macey, Gabriel Martinelli, Tyreece John-Jules, Dominic Thompson, Zech Medley