TEAM NEWS: Higuain starts as Pepe returns for Real Madrid in Supercopa showdown

Defender returns from concussion and Argentine striker keeps his place, while new signing Modric could make his debut from bench as Blancos look to overturn 3-2 first-leg deficit
Real Madrid welcome back central defender Pepe for Wednesday’s Supercopa second-leg match with Barcelona at Santiago Bernabeu.

The Portuguese, whose wife gave birth to a daughter this week, returns from a concussion that has kept him out of the last two games, including last week’s first-leg victory for the Blaugrana at Camp Nou. In attack, Gonzalo Higuain is once again selected ahead of France international Karim Benzema.

New signing Luka Modric, who completed his protracted move from Tottenham Hotspur this week, will hope to make his debut from the substitute’s bench as Jose Mourinho’s side go in search of their first win of the season. Elsewhere, Sami Khedira comes into the midfield at the expense of Lassana Diarra.

Barcelona are unchanged from the side that started the first-leg, Adriano continuing at left-back ahead of Jordi Alba. Midfielder Alex Song, who is yet to make his Barca debut, is once again among the subs.

After fracturing a cheekbone in the weekend’s victory over Osasuna, Carles Puyol is replaced at centre-back by Javier Mascherano. Pedro, who scored the first of Barcelona’s goals last week, returns to the attack in place of Cristian Tello.

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1):
Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Khedira, Alonso; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Higuain

Subs: Adan, Albiol, Nacho, Diarra, Modric, Callejon, Benzema

Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Alexis

Subs: Pinto, Bartra, Alba, Song, Tello, Fabregas, Villa