The second El Clasico of the season comes in the form of a Spanish Super Cup semi final as FC Barcelona and Real Madrid travel to Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia for the encounter. The game offers to be a great spectacle between the youth filled side of Barcelona driven by club legend Xavi against a flying Real Madrid team containing serial winners, thriving under a veteran tactician.
FCB vs RMA Spanish Super Cup semi-final Match Details :
When: Wednesday, January 12/ Thursday, January 13
Time: 20:00 (CET)/ 00:30 (IST)
Where: King Fahd International Stadium, Riyadh
FCB vs RMA Spanish Super Cup semi-final Match Preview :
FC Barcelona wished for a win as the ideal preparation for this massive game when they traveled to Granada in La Liga. Instead, the Catalan giants settled for another frustrating draw after taking a lead in the game. Xavi once again spoke out Barcelona's incapability to see off games having the upper hand on the scoreline at least. Luuk De Jong had a first half goal ruled out by the tightest of offside call in the build up but the Dutch striker header in the next half stood. Gavi received his second booking ten minutes from time for a silly challenge before Antonio Puertas slammed in from close range following a late corner. A repeat of the story occurred in the 2-2 draw against Osasuna last month in the same fashion. With the league title hunt well over now and a top four place to vie for, the former midfielder now wish La Blaugrana gather themselves together to launch a silverware chase in the form of the Spanish Super Cup. They have to beat their in-form arch rivals in the semifinals to get to the showpiece but this has to be the most humungous task for the current Barcelona team under Xavi. Once a Classico hero needs to be the same in a different role now.
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The reason is Real Madrid's charismatic form this season. Keeping aside the little hiccup they had against Getafe at the start of the 2022, Los Blancos have went unbeaten in 17 games over three months, winning 15 of those and dropping points in only two occasions. After the 4-1 win over Valencia on Sunday, the feared duo of Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema had contributed to a mammoth 40 goals contribution to the team leading the La Liga table with 49 points, five points clear of Sevilla in second although they have a game in hand. Carlo Ancelloti will surely be looking at the chances of winning other competitions as well having reached the last 16 stages of the Champions League and the Copa Del Rey in last week. Winning the Spanish Super Cup will be an exciting prospect to go on and do the treble or even quadruple. It will be their third time in the history if they match the feet of winning four titles in one season. The white shirts believe reaching the final in the tournament hosted in Riyadh is just a matter of time comparing the quality and the form to their rivals but Ancelloti won't be entertaining any complacency.
Recent Form (all competitions) :
FC Barcelona: WDWWD
Real Madrid: DWLWW
FCB vs RMA Spanish Super Cup semi-final Team News :
Barcelona will surely miss star kid Gavi in the midfield for his dismissal in the weekend. Defender Eric Garcia is also not part of the travelling squad to the middle east after suffering an hamstring injury in the draw and will now face up to five weeks out of action. Pedri has recovered from Covid-19 and new signing Ferran Torres is finally being registered after Samuel Umtiti's pay cut contract renewal but the duo didn't made the squad. Ronald Araujo, Frenkie De Jong and Ansu Fati have all travelled without medical approval with the Uruguayan likely to begin the game on the right back position. Sergi Roberto and Martin Braithwaite remain out.
Ancelloti has expressed his delight of having Daniel Carvajal and Luka Modric fit again to feature in the Super Cup semi-final while Mariano Diaz and Gareth Bale are only the two fitness concerns ahead of the game. Given the temperament of the squad and the Italian's uneasiness in changing up a winning combination, the same starting eleven that won 4-1 against Valencia at the weekend will feature once again.
FCB vs RMA Spanish Super Cup semi-final Expected Lineups :
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Nico Gonzalez, Sergio Busquets, Gavi, Ousmane Dembele, Luuk De Jong, Memphis Depay
Real Madrid: Thibaut Courtois; Daniel Carvajal, Eder Militao, David Alaba, Ferland Mendy, Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Luka Modric, Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr
FCB vs RMA Spanish Super Cup semi-final Head to Head :
It wasn't a good watch for the first El Clasico of the 2021/22 season but Real Madrid overcame Barcelona 2-1 comfortably to be the early pace setters to the top of the chart. Then under Ronald Koeman, a Messi-less Barca for the first time in a classico could have taken the lead only for Serginio Dest's howling miss playing in an unorthodox winger role piled up the misery of events that folded next. David Alaba put the capital side ahead launching an impressive counter from the back, going on a run and striking past Ter Stegen. Barcelona failed to break Real's defense with their robotic pace leading Lucas Vazquez to confirm the victory in the added time. Sergio Aguero then scored moments after from the last kick of the game which bared no fruit.
FCB vs RMA Spanish Super Cup semi-final Dream11 Team Prediction :
GK: Courtois (RMA)
DEF: Carvajal (RMA), Araujo (FCB), Alaba (RMA), Alba (FCB)
MID: Busquets (FCB), Modric (RMA), Kroos (RMA)
FW: Dembele (FCB), Benzema (RMA), Vini Jr (RMA)