2 min “Am I alone in thinking that Neymar’s departure isn’t that big of a deal for Barcelona?” says Edouard Mattille. “I’ve always found him to be the least important player of the MSN and I rate Suarez higher than him. Was never a fan of stacking that many forward superstars in a team either.”
I think Suarez is better too but I’d still say it’s a big deal. Whoever replaces him is unlikely to have the same understanding with Suarez and Messi. And it ruins a good acronym. I suppose they could buy Luciano Narsingh from Swansea.
1 min A poor pass from Ter Stegen is intercepted, and Kovacic tries to lob him from 35 yards. He doesn’t get enough on it and Ter Stegen backpedalls to make a comfortable save. That was a chance for Madrid.
1 min Peep peep! Barcelona kick off from left to right. They are in their usual red-and-blue kit. Real are wearing a turquoisey strip.
An email! “Greetings Rob,” says Alfredo. “Alfredo here, writing all the way from Guatemala. I have a question for you… I think that the blood of the gods is going to flow like the ancient rivers of Babylon for Bartomeu and his presidential gang if Barça don’t perform well in this SuperCup. With Neymar flying the coop, what do you think they’ll need to do to keep the people of Catalonia happy?”
Are you saying Gerard Deulofeu is not enough?
Barcelona (4-3-3) Ter Stegen; Vidal, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Deulofeu.
Substitutes: Cillessen, Semedo, Denis, Mascherano, Alcacer, Digne, Roberto.
Real Madrid (4-D-2) Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro; Kovacic, Kroos; Isco; Benzema, Bale.
Substitutes: Casilla, Nacho, Ronaldo, Theo, Lucas, Asensio, Ceballos.
Ambassador, with three Clásicos before the end of August you are spoiling us. After the pre-season friendly in Miami, Real Madrid and Barcelona now meet in the two-legged Super Cup. It’s the first time they have played each other in this competition since 2012, when it was Tito Vilanova against Jose Mourinho.
The two clubs have swapped roles in recent times: Real Madrid are the ones who practice stability and are setting the standard for every other team in the world. This, quietly, is a golden period in their history – the first time that they have been champions of Spain, Europe and the world at the same time.
Barcelona are starting again under Ernesto Valverde, though nothing much changes from manager to manager when you have players like Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. There’s nay more Neymar, but they do have Gerard Deulofeu.
Tonight’s match is at the Nou Camp, with the second leg to follow in Madrid on Wednesday. Kick off is at 10pm local time, 9pm in Britain.