Preview: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

Nou Camp
© PA Photos
Sports Mole previews the Spanish Super Cup first leg between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Nou Camp.

The first El Clasico of the new season pits Barcelona against Real Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup at the Nou Camp.

The Catalans began their La Liga campaign with a morale-boosting 5-1 win over Real Sociedad at the weekend, which also saw the return of Spain's all-time leading goalscorer David Villa.

It wasn't the greatest of starts for the defending champions Madrid, however, as they were held 1-1 at the Bernabeu by a stern Valencia outfit.

It was Barcelona who secured a 5-4 aggregate win in the same competition last year, but after Madrid's title success last season they will enter the match full of confidence.

Barcelona have lost just one of their last eight meetings with Madrid, however, and will be considered as favourites to secure a first-leg lead.

Barcelona will be without Thiago for the encounter, while Isaac Cuenca and Eric Abidal remain long-term absentees.

It is also unlikely that Villa will start having returned from a long injury lay-off last time around. However, new signing Alex Song is expected to be handed a start in midfield.

Real Madrid have an almost fully-fit squad to choose from, although they will be without Portuguese defender Pepe who sustained a head injury at the weekend.

Possible lineups:

Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Song; Iniesta, Messi, Sanchez

Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Albiol, Ramos, Marcelo; Alonso, Diarra, Khedira; Ozil, Ronaldo, Higuain

Sports Mole says: 2-1

Alex Song
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Sociedad11003213
2Leganes11001013
3Valencia11001013
4Atletico MadridAtletico10102201
5GironaGirona10102201
6Espanyol10101101
7Sevilla10101101
8Athletic Bilbao00000000
9Barcelona00000000
10Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo00000000
11EibarEibar00000000
12Getafe00000000
13Levante00000000
14Malaga00000000
15Real Betis00000000
16Real Madrid00000000
17Villarreal00000000
18Celta Vigo100123-10
19AlavesAlaves100101-10
20Las PalmasLas Palmas100101-10
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