Real Madrid CF will be facing Athletic Club in the Supercopa de España final on Sunday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Basque powerhouse team are the defending champions, but captain Iker Muniain has admitted that Los Blancos are the favourites to take the title.

Earlier this week, Real Madrid defeated bitter rivals FC Barcelona in the semi-finals, while Athletic eliminated reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid. Even though Athletic won the competition last year, more recent history suggests that Real Madrid have the advantage.

"We played two games in December against them and lost both," said Muniain ahead of the match. Despite this, he is confident that his team can put up a fight and have a chance to lift the trophy. "They were very close matches, with many chances for us to win," he said about their recent losses against the current La Liga leaders.

Muniain then pointed out that no one expected his club to win last year either, yet they were able to snatch the trophy away from higher rated teams. He is hoping to do the same on Sunday. "It's clear Real Madrid are favourites. But, last season and again this season, we were the least fancied for the title, but once the ball rolls, what you do and how you perform in 90 minutes, decides the result," he said, as quoted by Football España

Real Madrid are currently in great form despite the fact that they did not even win a single title last season. They have qualified to the Supercopa this year only via their runner-up finish in La Liga in 2020/21. Athletic Club meanwhile, lifted the last year's Copa del Rey trophy. They defeated FC Barcelona 3-2 in extra time in last year's final.

Despite being favourites, Real Madrid are heading into Sunday with a handicap after Dani Carvajal tested positive for Covid-19. Marco Asensio has also been ruled out due to injury. David Alaba missed last Wednesday's semi-final, and it is unclear if he will be able to return for the final.

Iker Muniain
Athletic Bilbao's Iker Muniain receives the winner's trophy at the Spanish Super Cup final AFP / CRISTINA QUICLER