Real Madrid - Barcelona Preview: Wounded Blancos seek redemption in Supercopa decider
The defending Liga champions will look to ease the pain of Sunday's capitulation at lowly Getafe by overturning a 3-2 deficit to seal their third trophy under Jose Mourinho
By Karthick Arvinth
Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo
Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Pedro, Messi, Sanchez
Real Madrid have no injury concerns for Wednesday's Supercopa second leg against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Centre-back Pepe has recovered from concussion and is expected to replace Raul Albiol in defence, while Fabio Coentrao, Sami Khedira, Jose Callejon and Karim Benzema are all vying for starting berths.
Playmaker Luka Modric, who finally completed his protracted transfer from Tottenham Hotspur on Monday, could start on the bench as Real look to rescue a 3-2 deficit from last week's first leg encounter.
Barcelona could be without captain Carles Puyol after the defender fractured his cheekbone in Sunday's 2-1 victory at Osasuna, but remains in regular training.
Xavi and Pedro are both likely to be recalled into the starting XI, while summer signing Alex Song, who was an unused substitute at the weekend, could make his debut.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid have failed to win their last three matches in all competitions, which is their longest win-less streak since May 2011.
- Defeat at Getafe condemned Los Blancos to their worst start to a season since 1973.
- The Castilian giants have failed to register a home win against Barcelona in their last seven attempts across all competitions.
- Madrid's last victory over their arch-rivals at the Bernabeu was a 4-1 success in La Liga in May 2008.
- Barcelona are facing Real Madrid for the 221st time in official competitions. Both clubs have 87 wins to their name.
- If the Catalan side win on Wednesday, they will be leading the head-to-head series for the first time in 80 years.
- Lionel Messi (pictured, right) has registered five times in his last three games for Barca, making this his best ever start to a season.
- The Argentine forward is the last player to score a hat-trick in a Clasico, which he did in the 3-3 draw at Camp Nou in March 2007.
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Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid CF 2-1 FC Barcelona
- 18.05 %
Real Madrid CF 1-2 FC Barcelona
- 15.82 %
Real Madrid CF 1-3 FC Barcelona
- 11.07 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Oct 26, 2013||FC Barcelona 2 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 2, 2013||Real Madrid CF 2 - FC Barcelona 1|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Feb 26, 2013||FC Barcelona 1 - Real Madrid CF 3|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 30, 2013||Real Madrid CF 1 - FC Barcelona 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Oct 7, 2012||FC Barcelona 2 - Real Madrid CF 2|
|Real Madrid CF|
|Mar 9, 2014||Real Madrid CF 3 - Levante 0||LIGA|
|Mar 2, 2014||Atletico Madrid 2 - Real Madrid CF 2||LIGA|
|Feb 26, 2014||Schalke 04 1 - Real Madrid CF 6||UCL|
|Feb 22, 2014||Real Madrid CF 3 - Elche 0||LIGA|
|Feb 16, 2014||Getafe 0 - Real Madrid CF 3||LIGA|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
The German has been a peripheral figure for Real Madrid in the opening rounds of the season, and is perhaps suffering from fatigue having hardly had any downtime during the summer. The arrival of Modric will give Madrid a much-needed extra option through the middle, although it remains to be seen how Mourinho changes things to accommodate the €42 million playmaker.
Barcelona's scrappy 2-1 win at Osasuna underlined just how important the 32-year-old midfielder is to the Catalan side's continued success, as his replacement at the weekend, Cesc Fabregas, struggled to exert control on proceedings. Xavi's even-keeled passing and technique, which shine through even when under severe pressure from opposing defenders, is vital to Barca's possession-hogging style.
Mourinho would have had some choice words for a few of his players after the abject performance against Getafe, and will demand an immediate response in the Supercopa. Whether the hosts can raise their game enough to overturn the deficit from the first leg remains to be seen, while Barca's attack will no doubt provide another stern test for the leaky Madrid rearguard. It should make for compelling viewing.
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed