Barcelona vs Real Madrid – Spanish Super Cup Leg 2 Preview

In an extra late kick off tonight (11 pm local time) we host our first proper game of the 2011/12 season with the return leg of the Spanish Super Cup against our favourite Real Madrid.  We escaped the Bernabeu on Sunday with a 2-2, and no, I am not using the word escape flippantly.  I think anyone who would have felt a loss was unfair if we had lost, would not be totally honest with himself.  That was by far the best Madrid performance we have seen in Pep’s era, unquestionably, specifically the first half.  However, I without question feel they are much fitter and more prepared than us, and considering the fact we barely trained together as a first team, I think we did pretty well and the two goals were glorious and opportunistic.  I thought Iniesta looked very sharp on the ball, while Adriano and Alves looked good as well.  Alexis had a pretty solid debut, and with some more time with his teammates, I feel he has the footballing IQ to make the right runs and right passes to become very dangerous.

We did however improve in the second half with the introduction of Xavi and Piqué.  The reports are that neither will start again, nor Sergio Busquets.  I hope the reports are wrong, and with Pep you can never quite predict.  He said quite frankly that to win we need to play better than Sunday night, and I agree we do and believe we will.  The line-up could be the same as Sunday with Valdés ; Alves, Mascherano, Abidal, Adriano ; Thiago, Keita, Iniesta ; Alexis, Messi, Villa.   However, I think it will be different.  I don’t think Keita is going to start, as I feel Piqué is going to start and possibly Busquets too.  That means Masch will either play alongside Piqué or go to midfield, depending if both or only one start.  And maybe, just maybe, we could see Cesc Fabregas start ahead of Thiago.  Thiago had oodles of talent, at times makes you oooh and awww, but personally I don’t feel he is ready for this type of game.  He still misplaces far too many passes and makes risky decisions at the back.  But hey, predicting a starting line-up, is as much guess work as real reporting, so who Pep will finally start with only he knows.

Madrid have been rather roused, to put it lightly, from the performance over the weekend.  Di Stefano, who was quick to praise us and criticize Mourinho last year, wrote since the game this could be the “beginning of the fall of Barça”, while both their players and Karanka making it clear they felt they had the better of the game and deserved to win.  Fair enough, they have been waiting to say things like this for 4 years.  It’s all very overreactionary, as sports are these days, and I would like nothing more to just smash them tonight and send them back down to reality.  However, I feel tonight will be a tough match as Madrid are pumped up and full of belief, though still wouldn’t be surprised to win by a 2 goal margin.

Karanka, who I see in Spain has been labelled Mouranka, announced last night that there would be some changes, but was coy of the specifics.  I think we will see Coentrão start over Khedira tonight in midfield and that will be the only change.  So I expect to see Casillas ; Ramos, Pepe, Carvalho, Marcelo ; Alonso, Coentrão ; Ronaldo, Özil, Di María ; Benzema.

Let’s see how it all unfolds.  Enjoy the game.

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5 Responses to Barcelona vs Real Madrid – Spanish Super Cup Leg 2 Preview

  1. Pawi joshua says:

    Barca wil win 2night match.if pep can start xavi.inesta.sergio and place pique&masch at center defence.up barca

  2. FCB-Parbo says:

    Yeah man, Karanka is Mou’s puppet and so are the players. They are always whining and their fans have also been brainwashed by Mou and they don’t even know this. They think they have us already, but hey they were challenged by our weak team. I hope Pep starts with his best XI and gives RM a slap in their faces. It will be a tough match, but we will win. Remember last year, they were very good and we beat them with 5-0.

    Visca Barca!!!!!!
    Forca Barca!!!!!!!

  3. Josher says:

    fact of the matter is barca does not have a full strength team and on top of that players like messi are not match fit. i read messi puked on the field after the game on sunday. I hope barca comes through on top but the game will be tough.
    on a positive note, R.Madrid is throwing the book at barca. so we know exactly what to expect from them at their best.

  4. barcacentralnic says:

    I’ve sent out some invites for Google + to some of you who have left details, but I think they may have mainly gone out in Spanish. Don’t worry, if you join up it is a simple step to change everything into English

  5. blaugranaboy says:

    what mourinho did to vilanova has made me so angry. i hate that prick so much.

    madrid have such thought out game plan, if your about to lose, tackle like a butcher, get a red, then we can use it as an excuse.

    but saying that, the monkey chants to marcelo were deplorable. i hope the LFP make a story of it and we see a fine

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