It goes against what’s on paper and what has gone on in the transfer window, but FC Barcelona has a great chance to beat Real Madrid for the 2017 Supercopa de Espańa.
These two giants will face each other for the first real game of the season after a lengthy pre-season in the United States. In a friendly game in Miami, Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-2, the same result from the last time these two met in La Liga.
Of course, because it was a pre-season game, the result doesn’t reveal anything with real substance. Still, a win is a win, and there is good reason to expect two more wins for Barcelona. Here’s why:
Messi: When you have one of the best players in the world at your disposable, a moment of magic from him can win a game, like his last minute winner from last season.
Messi has scored twenty-two times against Real Madrid; they’re one of his favorite victims. His influence in big games doesn’t always have to be goals either, he has some of the best vision and passing ability in football. His attacking teammates Suarez and Alcácer will receive at least one chance each from Messi; they will do well to slot it home.
Although, expecting a goal to come from a set piece or Messi taking on a couple of defenders is not out of the imagination. This game will be the first challenge of the season; a trophy against your eternal rival is on the line. Whatever happens on Sunday, we can expect the little man to give it his all. And thankfully for Barcelona fans, his all is extraterrestrial.
The star with a second chance: A big game from Gerard Deulofeu could make the difference against Real Madrid. The La Masia graduate may get the nod ahead of Alcácer in the third forward position in a 4-3-3. Deulofeu can be the winger that provides width and passing tempo that the attacking line needs.
Deulofeu needs patience and support from the fans, not hate and unwarranted criticism. Let’s give him a chance to prove himself.
— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) August 7, 2017
Putting on a spectacular performance just as Neymar has left could give the board something to think about. Maybe dropping millions of Euros on a new player could be a mistake when you have a real jewel already. If Deulofue wants to play his trade in Barcelona, he will have to earn it. Why not do it by showing up against the current La Liga and European champions?
The team: Barcelona will be desperate for a trophy after only winning the Copa del Rey last season. A team full of winners could never be contempt with just taking one cup home. Players like Alba, Piqué, Busquets, and Suarez will give it their all on Sunday.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 11, 2017
They came off a good preseason where the starters and the bench had a good rotation. New coach Ernesto Valverde will have a good idea of who he wants to use against Real Madrid. All starters are confirmed available except club captain Iniesta who asked to be excused from practice.
It would be easy to assume that they’ll be sharper than usual, run faster and longer than usual, and fight for every ball much harder because they are up against Real Madrid. It won’t be easy playing against the best team in the world, but Barcelona has every chance to beat them.