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Sevilla 'ready' for Real's star-studded strike force


Gareth Bale. Pic: AP Photo/Tony Ding

Gareth Bale. Pic: AP Photo/Tony Ding

Gareth Bale. Pic: AP Photo/Tony Ding

European champions Real Madrid are expected to field the world's most expensive strike force -including local Welsh hero Gareth Bale - when they play Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup at the Cardiff City Stadium tonight.

Three months after winning the all-Spanish Champions League final against Atletico Madrid in Lisbon, Real and Europa League winners Sevilla meet in an all-Spanish Super Cup match with the home fans delighted to be able to watch Bale in his home city.

He joined Real for a world record £85million from Tottenham Hotspur a year ago and is expected to play in a £240million trio with Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez as the Madrid side seek to win the Super Cup for the first time since 2002.

Ronaldo signed for £80 million from Manchester United in 2009 while Colombian Rodriguez, the Golden Boot winner at this year's World Cup, cost about 80million when he joined from AS Monaco after the finals.

Germany World Cup winner Toni Kroos, who has just joined Real from Bayern Munich for about £30million, could also be in action in an official match for Real for the first time.

While Bale will be relishing a return to his home town, Ronaldo is expected to start after working hard to shake off aknee problem that hampered his performances for Portugal at the World Cup in Brazil.

Sevilla's squad, by contrast, is worth just under 3108million, according to website transfermarkt.com, and theysold their best player, Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic, toBarcelona in June.

Centre back Nico Pareja is undaunted, however, and said that he and his team-mates had the same hunger thatyielded the Europa League crown and a fifth-place finish in La Liga last season and were hopeful of an upset win.

"Of course Real are starting as favourites," Argentine Pareja said.

"But we have been working hard and we are ready to take the battle to them."