Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid: Date, Time and Preview for Spanish Super Cup
Wednesday evening sees the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid take place at the Vicente Calderon.
The Spanish Super Cup is an annual two-legged fixture played between the winners of La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
Who will win the Spanish Super Cup first leg?
Former manager Tito Vilanova lifted the Spanish title with Barca last season, while Diego Simeone led his side to a famous cup victory over local rivals Real Madrid.
The first leg gives Atletico home advantage before the second game is played at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, August 28.
Where: Vicente Calderon, Madrid, Spain
When: Wednesday August 21 at 10 p.m. BST (5 p.m. ET)
Watch: Sky Sports 4, 9:55 p.m BST
After demolishing Levante 7-0 in their opening game of the new La Liga campaign, Barcelona have continued the devastating domestic form that saw them crowned champions last season.
The match, which was Gerardo Martino's first competitive game in charge since taking the reigns this summer, saw Barca take an astonishing 6-0 lead by half-time.
Goals from Lionel Messi (two), Pedro (two), Alexis Sanchez, Dani Alves and Xavi secured the most comfortable of victories for Martino's men, leaving them top of the table after the first round of fixtures.
Brazilian superstar Neymar, who joined the club from Santos for £50 million this summer, did not start the game but came off the bench to make his debut.
The squad were back in light training on Monday, the day after beating Levante, but full-back Alves missed the recovery session after bruising his ankle during the game. If he does not recover in time for Wednesday's game, Jordi Alba or Marc Bartra look most likely to replace him.
With a tricky away trip to Malaga to negotiate on Sunday and the return leg against Atletico next Wednesday, Martino may be tempted to rotate his team for the first leg.
Neymar is a candidate to start the game, while Alex Song, Andres Iniesta and Cristian Tello could all feature in the first XI after only making the bench on Sunday.
Hosts Atletico will be hoping to give themselves a chance heading into the return leg next week by making the most of their home advantage on Wednesday.
The Vicente Calderon is well known for its ferocious atmosphere, and the Atletico faithful are sure to be in good voice for the visit of Messi and Co.
Simeone's side started their own season in promising fashion, dispatching Sevilla 3-1 away from home with two goals from former Liverpool target Diego Costa helping them on their way.
The Brazilian forward will link up with former Barca striker David Villa this season after the Spaniard signed for €5.1 million earlier this summer.
The Spaniard spent three years at the Nou Camp but fell out of favour last season after returning from a long-term injury.
However, the 31-year-old is relishing the opportunity to face his former club. According to Goal.com's Alex Moretto, the striker had this to say:
I have many friends and fond memories of my three years there. But when we start the game, they are my rivals.
Hopefully I can help my team. I have always celebrated my goals. Out of respect, however, the exuberance of the celebration is different if you face an opponent that you love.
Los Rojiblancos are relying on veteran Villa to score the goals that will be missing after Radamel Falcao's big-money move to French side Monaco.
The Spaniard looks set to start up front, although Simeone could utilise his squad with a home game against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday to consider.
Cristian Rodriguez came off the bench to score against Sevilla and could get a chance in midfield, while Oliver Torres and Leo Baptistao are also pushing for inclusion in the starting XI.
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