Preview: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

Preview: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid
© 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
1Barcelona1916305294351
2Atletico MadridAtletico2012712992043
3Valencia20124441212040
4Villarreal2010462822634
5Real Madrid1895432171532
6Sevilla2010282628-232
7EibarEibar198382431-727
8GironaGirona207672929027
9Getafe207672520527
10Real Betis198383336-327
11Athletic Bilbao206862322126
12Celta Vigo197483327625
13Leganes187381517-224
14Espanyol206681625-924
15Real Sociedad196583334-123
16Levante203981628-1218
17AlavesAlaves1960131427-1318
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo1944112137-1616
19Las PalmasLas Palmas2042141647-3114
20Malaga1932141333-2011
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