Spanish Super Cup 2013: Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid Preview and Prediction

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Spanish Super Cup 2013: Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid Preview and Prediction
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

After last week's memorable 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid do battle once more on Wednesday to decide who lifts the first piece of silverware of the new La Liga season.

Last Wednesday the two teams played out a highly entertaining game at the Vicente Calderon, with Brazilian superstar Neymar scoring his first goal for Barca to cancel out David Villa's volleyed opener.

The second leg at the Nou Camp sees the hosts start with a slim advantage by virtue of their away goal last week, although the visitors will be in a confident mood after an excellent performance against their more illustrious rivals.

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Where: Nou Camp, Barcelona, Spain

When: Wednesday August 28 at 10 p.m. BST (5 p.m. ET)

Watch: Sky Sports 4, 10 p.m BST

 

Preview

Gerardo Martino's side go into Wednesday's return fixture as favourites to win their 11th Super Cup, in what is their fifth consecutive appearance in the annual La Liga winners vs. Copa del Rey winners tie.

They face an Atletico side looking to avoid a fourth runners-up place since lifting their one and only Supercopa way back in 1984.

Both sides enter the match in fine form, having each won their latest league fixture on Sunday.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Barca overcame Malaga 1-0 in a hard-fought away game, while Atleti romped to a convincing 5-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano on home soil.

The home side have injury worries ahead of the game, with weekend goalscorer Adriano doubtful with a hamstring injury. Ibrahim Afellay (thigh), Isaac Cuenca (knee) and Carles Puyol (knee) are all definitely ruled out.

Lionel Messi missed Sunday's game with a thigh problem after being substituted in last week's first leg, but he has since returned to training and could start at the Camp Nou.

Despite scoring his side's equaliser at the Vicente Calderon, Neymar is still yet to start a game for his new club, but that could change as Martino looks to break down the stubborn Madrid defence.

Atletico have a fully fit squad to choose from for Wednesday's game, and manager Diego Simeone could opt for the same side that thrashed Rayo last time out.

Raul Garcia was given an opportunity in that game and didn't disappoint, scoring twice from midfield.

The Spaniard could well retain his place after missing the opening two league fixtures, with Simeone unlikely to change a team that looked so impressive just three days ago.

Although a score-draw above 1-1 would be enough to earn Atletico the trophy, a first win at the Nou Camp in eight years would give Los Rojiblancos the perfect start to the 2013/14 season.

 

Prediction

Simeone's men will be well organised and dangerous on the counterattack, but with Messi likely to be fit and Neymar finding his feet in Spain, Barca will pose too much of a threat at the Nou Camp.

Expect the in-form Diego Costa to score or create a goal for the visitors, but it won't be enough to stop them falling to a narrow defeat.

Barcelona 2-1 Atletico Madrid (Barcelona win 3-2 on aggregate)

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