FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: The first ‘clasico’ of the season
Barça and Real Madrid go head to head this Thursday evening (10.30 pm CET) in the Camp Nou for the first trophy of the season. The third match in five days in the Camp Nou could feature Alex Song’s FC Barcelona debut.
Barcelona (FCB).- At the weekend it was the turn of Spanish League (La Liga) to get underway but this Thursday night the focus switches to the Spanish Super Cup, which brings together last season\u2019s Cup winners (FC Barcelona) and the League champions (Real Madrid). The first trophy of the 2012/13 campaign will be decided on the results of tonight\u2019s duel in the Camp Nou and next Wednesday\u2019s return leg in the Santiago Bernabeu.
The first \u2018el clasico\u2019 of the season is the latest in a long line of encounters in recent years. Last year\u2019s double header between the two sides produced a vibrant clash full of spectacular action and some controversy.
Third game in five days
For Barça, it will be the players\u2019 third match in just five days, all of them in the Camp Nou. On Sunday, FC Barcelona got their Spanish League campaign off to a thrilling start with a 5-1 demolition of Real Sociedad. On Monday evening a Barça side featuring many youngsters from the reserves was beaten 0-1 by Sampdoria in the Catalan club\u2019s Joan Gamper Trophy.
But tonight it\u2019s back to competitive action and they don\u2019t come any bigger than a match between Barça and Real Madrid, the very first with Tito Vilanova at the helm. The new FC Barcelona Manager has everybody fit and available except for Thiago, Abidal, Cuenca and Muniesa, all nursing long-term injuries. Much interest will centre around star new signing Alex Song, who trained alongside his new team-mates for the first time on Wednesday.
Defensive change for Real Madrid
A head injury sustained by Portuguese international Pepe in the opening League match against Valencia will keep the central defender out of tonight\u2019s match. In his pre-match press conference, Real Madrid\u2019s Manager, Jose Mourinho, announced that his place would be taken by Albiol.
Barça tops the ranking of Super Cup wins with 10, two more than Real Madrid. A victory in this year\u2019s competition would also make Barça the first club to win it four times in a row.