Barcelona host Real Madrid on Sunday in the Spanish Super cup first leg at Camp Nou in the traditional curtain raiser.
The La Liga champions come into the game missing a key figure in Luka Modric as he serves a ban after he was sent off in the last match the Galacticos played in the competition against city rivals Atletico Madrid three seasons ago.
Barcelona are playing their first match without Neymar who completed his world record transfer to Paris St Germain last week. Of course with the El Clasico its very much Messi v Ronaldo as well but it will be extremely interesting to see if Cristiano Ronaldo features after playing only 5 minutes during Tuesdays European super cup victory over Manchester United.
This is Ernesto Valverde’s first competitive Clasico in charge of the Catalan’s so he will be feeling the pressure going into Sundays big clash.
Andres Iniesta is also expected to miss Sundays tie as Valverde gave him permission to miss training but the club gave no explanation to why exactly this was. Gerard Deulofeu has impressed in pre season so he could be the key figure in the match as he goes toe to toe with Dani Carvajal.
This game will be decided on the defences as both attacks are deadly, however Zidanes side it would be hard to argue conceded far to many goals last night and with a bid rejected earlier on this transfer window for David De Gea this shows that the manager thinks Keylor Navas is particularly vulnerable.
The key area for Real Madrid in this game is Casemiro as he proves his worth in this fixture with his range of passing and he protects the back four extremely well , Barcelona have struggled in midfield in this fixture when the Brazilian has featured and he is also improving his goal ratio.
Real Madrid have said that Ronaldo is rested and ready for the tie but my concern would be his lack of pre season after playing for his native Portugal in the confederations cup. Since Ronaldo has been in Spain he has scored the most goals in the Clasico so he will be very confident ahead of the two upcoming matches.
Barcelona are also expected to hand a debut to new signing Nelson Semedo and he will have a challenge marking his Portuguese teammate.
Zidane became the fourth most successful manager in Real Madrid’s history with the European Super cup win is closing in on his 7th trophy that will see him climb up the rankings. The Frenchman claimed “It was a near perfect performance against Manchester United on Tuesday”.
Zidane also added “We know we’ve got a lot of talent and that with hard work can achieve great things”. The atmosphere as usual will play a key part to this game so from a Real Madrid point of view they must not get intimidated going into this game.