Not many words are needed to introduce games of this magnitude. Tonight from 8pm local time, live from Saudi Arabia. It’s the Spanish supercup final. And its El clásico. Every single time, regardless of the two teams respective form, its a matchup filled with history and excitement. And this time it feels no different.
Barça are coming into the game as the under dogs. I don’t think that’s unfair to put that label on us tonight. Real are in a rich vein of form, they’re ahead of us in the league so a lot of things are going their way right now. As for us, were coming out of a little bit of a rough patch. It’s been a tricky season so far. With many ups and downs.
But despite that, were in a cup final. A cup final against our eternal enemies, Real Madrid. It’s going to be a very difficult game, Real have a lot of quality that can do you damage at any moment. We will definitely miss the passion and energy of Gavi in this game, but that only means the rest of the team has to work even harder.
We’re coming off the back of a much improved performance in midweek vs Osasuna. We played some good football and made the game pretty comfortable for us. It wasn’t perfect of course, but it’s definitely something to build on. And there’s no better stage to prove the progress made, than it is against Real Madrid. It’s the perfect time.
Like I’ve said, its not going to be easy, but it must act as an added piece of motivation for the team. Real have got players like Bellingham, Vinicius and Rodrigo who can do any team damage. But we mustn’t devalue ourselves. We have strength and we have talent in this team. We just need to start firing. Start clicking. And like i say, this is the perfect opportunity to show it all off.
When it comes to the lineup, I think it’ll be interesting to see how Xavi decides to lineup. Cancelo isn’t expected to be back in the squad as he missed the group training yesterday. He’s still nursing an injury so its unlikely to see him feature. Which means that we will deploy B.A.C.K once again. The only question with that is, who will play at right back.
Araujo is usually preferred as he’s the best to deal with Vinicius Junior, but Kounde has proven over recent games how good he is in that position. If it was me choosing, I’d keep Kounde there. In midfield, although Xavi has said Pedri is 100% fit to start, i still wouldn’t risk chucking him straight into the starting lineup as he has only just returned from a few weeks out. That’s why I can see us going with the 4 midfielder set up. Possibly with Fermin Lopez playing as the false left winger.
Raphinha is out a few weeks with an injury he picked up against Osasuna, so if we are starting a right sided player its most likely to be Lamine Yamal. Fresh off his goal in midweek. Ferran started against Osasuna and dint do much. Whilst Felix came off the bench and seriously impressed. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see Xavi go with Lewandowski and Felix up top. With hopefully some minutes for Roque and Pedri in the second half.
My starting 11:
Kounde- Araujo- Christensen- Balde
Roberto- Frenkie- Gundogan
Felix- Lewandowski- Fermin