You can watch FC Barcelona take on Real Madrid in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup live on ESPN Deportes (4pm ET, 17th August)
The Spanish Super Cup returns to the Camp Nou on Wednesday evening as both sides are even at two goals a piece. The scoreline however does not reflect the domination that took place by Real Madrid on Saturday.
Real Madrid controlled the flow throughout the match, with Barcelona having just a slight possession advantage in the end but not the 70 plus percent that they are accustomed to. Had it not been for numerous missed opportunities by Real Madrid, FC Barcelona would find themselves in a tough situation from which to come back.
Barcelona had a very un-Barcelona like performance in the first leg having been outshot an astonishing 19 to 4, 8 on goal for Real Madrid and 2 for Barcelona. Luckily for Barcelona those two shots by Villa and Messi both found the back of the net.
All that being said Real Madrid have to be scratching their heads wondering what they have to do to defeat their nemesis. With the 5-0 drilling from last season surely still in the back of their minds Jose Mourinho and his side will look to get on the board early and then try to pressure Pep’s side to hold on to the advantage.
In the first leg Barcelona fielded a starting eleven that did not feature Xavi, Busquets, Pedro or Pique. Also both Dani Alves and Lionel Messi had not played with the team all preseason following their participation in the Copa America. Look for Xavi to get the start this go around along side Iniesta and Mascherano, who will be back in his more accustomed defensive midfield position, with Busquets still nursing a rib injury and Pique back in central defense.
Upfront Alexis Sanchez, who had a decent debut for the blaugrana, will once again likely get the call ahead of Pedro. Alexis seemed to fit into Pep’s system nicely and with his ability to receive the pass wide and attack it gives Xavi one more weapon in which to pressure Real Madrid’s defense.
Probable lineup for FC Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Abidal, Adriano, Mascherano, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Alexis, Villa
For Real Madrid they will likely come out once again in the 4-3-2-1 formation that worked so well for them in the first leg. We don’t expect to see any significant changes in Mourinho’s lineup from Sunday. Benzema should get the start over Higuain upfront after playing well in the first leg and having such an impressive preseason. Look for Mourinho to attack early once again and exploit Barcelona’s vulnerability in the first twenty minutes of the match. With the two away goal disadvantage Mourinho cannot afford to employ a defensive strategy if he has plans on taking the cup.
Probable lineup for Real Madrid: Casillas, Ramos, Pepe, Carvalho, Marcelo, Alonso, Khedira, Di Maria, Ozil, Cristiano, Benzema
Of course the big news off the field is the addition of Cesc Fabregas who signed with the club on Monday and completed training on Tuesday. It is highly unlikely that Fabregas will start but look for him to make an appearance in the second half which is sure to bring the Camp Nou faithful to their feet.
It is going to be another great El Clásico from the Camp Nou with FC Barcelona taking the first step in their quest for all six cups this season!
Catch all on the action on ESPN Deportes live Wednesday at 4pm ET.