Two champions and one throne
FC Barcelona and Porto meet this evening (20.45h CET) in a very special European Super Cup. It’s the last to be played at the Louis II in Monaco. Piqué, Puyol and Afellay are all out through injury.
Barcelona (FCB).- Atlético Madrid will learn today who their successor is. It will either be Barça and Josep Guardiola, the European champions, or Porto and Vítor Pereira, who won the last Europa League. FC Barcelona and Porto meet this evening (20.45h CET) in a very special European Super Cup. It’s the last to be played at the Louis II in Monaco. Both sides have just won their respective domestic Super Cups. Barça, already the last team to win the trophy using the old two-legged format (3-1 on aggregate against Borussia Dortmund in 1997), now want to become the last team to win in Monaco’s Stadium, now that the tournament is to be played in different venues, starting with Prague next year.
Doubts at the back
There are plenty of question marks regarding the FCB defence. Pep Guardiola will need to make plans without either of Puyol or Piqué, but any of Busquets, Mascherano, Fontàs or Abidal can play in that position. But this change will have the knock on effect of needing to adjust the left backs and midfielders, with the added problem of the absence of Ibrahim Afellay, who is also injured. Pinto is suspended, so Oier Olazábal will be Valdés’ substitute, like at last season’s Wembley final.
No Falcao or Pereira
Vítor Pereira, who has replaced André Villas-Boas on the Porto bench, has taken over a team that has undergone several changes of the summer, and has lost their star striker Radomel Falcao to Atletico Madrid. Porto are also likely to lose Álvaro Pereira to Chelsea, and the player has been left out of the team for this match. But they will be able to count on their big summer signing, Steven Defour, from Standard Liege.
Potential all-time second place
Both Barça and Porto, who won European and domestic league titles last season, are looking to win their second trophy of the season after winning their respective national Super Cups. Barcelona are also looking to become the club with the second most European Super Cups in history. They are currently tied on three with Liverpool, while AC Milan top the ranking with five wins.