Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: Spanish Super Cup Is Real's for the Taking
Madrid won the league last year for the 32nd time in the team's history and now finds itself with the advantage in the manager department. Jose Murinho is obviously still the man calling the shots for Real, but Barcelona is no longer coached by Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola brought multiple league titles and championships to Barca during his four-year reign as manager, but now the team finds itself coached by his former assistant coach, Tito Vilanova.
Vilanova came through the ranks with Guardiola, and the transition from coach to coach might not be horribly difficult for the Barca players, but it's not the same as having the former coach on the sideline.
Vilanova has inherited one of the most talent-filled rosters in the world of football, and though he has familiarity that doesn't always translate to results.
Real Madrid has mostly the same personnel as it did last year when it won La Liga, and is still headlined by the likes of Gonzalo Higuian, Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The talent on Barcelona's side is still there, such as the returning David Villa, new addition Jordi Alba and of course Lionel Messi, but that lack of recent chemistry will hurt the team's attack.
Villa missed the entire La Liga season as well as the 2012 Euro Cup tournament las year due to injury, so it's been a little while since his teammates have had the ability to work on the pitch with him. Considering just how much of Barca's game relies on constant passing and chemistry, Villa will take some time to get back into his old rhythm.
Alba, on the other hand, is coming over from Valencia and played for Spain in the Euro Cup, so he hasn't had as much time to gel with the entire Barca club as some of his other teammates have.
The arrival and return of some of Barcelona's big names will be beneficial down the road in this long season, but coming out of the gates familiarity is the name of the game.
Based on the amount of Real's returning La Liga-winning team from a season ago and still having a veteran manager roaming its sidelines, this club should be able to best their El Clasico rivals and win the Spanish Super Cup.
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