Spain Super Cup: FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid Preview

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Updated: Friday, August 24, 2012, 16:47 [IST]

El Clasico: Barca vs Real Madrid Preview

Barcelona, Aug 23: Biggest rivals in football Barcelona and Real Madrid face-off in the new season's first El Clasico. The two Spanish giants lock horns at Camp Nou during the first leg of Spanish Super Cup.

Report: FC Barcelona 3-2 Real Madrid

For once it's not about world's best players Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as two coaches Tito Vilanova, who faces Madrid for the first time, and Jose Mourinho will be keen to prove a point after last season's Super Cup ended with three red cards and the famous 'eye poke' incident.

The rivals meet for the 220th time in all competitions, leading with 87 wins are Real Madrid while the Catalans are not far behind with 86.

Unlike other leagues, who play their cup ties prior to the season, La Liga teams have played just after the start of the new season. Barcelona began their League campaign with a thumping 5-1 victory over Real Sociedad while Madrid were held back to a 1-1 draw against Valencia.

Both teams have a full squad to choose from but will have an eye on weekend's league fixtures. However, the two giants will sacrifice league games to dominate in the first El Clasico this season.

Vilanova may give a start to playmaker Andres Iniesta in place of Cristian Tello while Spain's leading scorer David Villa is likely is likely to be benched despite scoring as a substitute on Saturday.

New signing Alex Song could start on the bench to face Madrid. Defender Gerard Pique could the nod ahead of Javier Mascherano to partner Carles Puyol.

On the other hand, Real centre-back Pepe will be missed after suffering a heavy knock against Valencia. Raul Albiol could replace Pepe and will partner Sergio Ramos at the heart of defence.

Karim Benzema, Sami Khedira and Marcelo will be hoping to start after missing Saturday's clash. Khedira may replace Lassana Diarra while Jose Callejon's impressive stint from the bench could prompt Mourinho to drop Angel di Maria.

Trivia:

*Out of 10 red cards in El Clasico, Real Madrid have been handed eight.

*Los Blancos have won just once at Camp Nou under Moruinho, drawing 2 and losing 1.

*Lionel Messi has scored 13 goals in El Clasico's while Ronaldo registered six goals against Barca.

Probable Lineups:

FC Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes-Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba-Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta-Pedro, Messi, Fabregas

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas-Arbeloa, Albiol, Ramos, Coentrao-Khedira, Alonso-Callejon, Ozil, Ronaldo-Benzema.

Kick off 02:00 AM, 24 August 2012, Camp Nou, Barcelona

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