Real Madrid and Barcelona once again face off as tonight provides what is already going to be the second El Clasico of the season. This one may only be in the Spanish Supercup but that is not to say that it will be any less competitive at the Bernabeu tonight.
Especially as Barcelona make the trip to the Spanish Capital while looking to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg. Sunday night saw Ernesto Valverde suffer a home defeat in his home competitive match while Zinedine Zidane already has one hand on his second trophy of the season.
The win for Real was undoubtedly overshadowed by the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off at the Nou Camp for two bookable offences. The first for diving and the second one was for shoving the referee in the back, an action that has now earned him a five match ban.
That means he misses tonight’s 2nd leg and also the first four matches of the La Liga season that starts this weekend. Questions will be asked as to just how Real will cope without the Portuguese icon but they only have to point to the European Supercup win over Manchester United last week as ideal evidence.
Barcelona have it all to do going into tonight’s clash with the fact they are going to have to score at least three times this evening to have any chance of winning a 13th Spanish Supercup. That in itself is not an impossible feat as they did so the last time these two clubs met in Madrid.
That night back in April would see Lionel Messi score a dramatic late winner which saw the Catalan giants get the better of a Real Madrid side that was reduced to 10 men after Sergio Ramos’s second half sending off. The final scoreline was 3-2 that night, a result that would do Barcelona no favours this time around.
Barcelona are a team which is still in a state of flux post Neymar and that showed on Sunday night, couple that with the fact that is a new manager at the helm trying to implement his own ideas on the squad and it is not resembling a settled side just yet.
That is something that Real Madrid took full advantage of at the weekend as they came away with an impressive 3-1 win over their arch rivals. After a goalless first half the game really did come alive after the break when we saw four goals in those 45 minutes.
Just how crucial though could Marco Asensio’s injury time strike be though. He has a habit of scoring late goals in competitions with injury time goals already scored in last season’s European Supercup and Champions League successes.
That goal may well be the one that just tips the balance in Real’s favour to see them over the line tonight. They may not win the tie tonight without Cristiano Ronaldo but I would be very surprised if they somehow lose their grip on the trophy after establishing that first leg advantage. Los Blancos to be celebrating just before midnight (Uk time)