The first leg of the Spanish Super Cup will be played this Saturday at the Sanchez Pijuan stadium in Sevilla. League champions and current Super Cup holders Barcelona take on Copa del Rey winners Sevilla, with both teams hoping to win the first trophy of the season.
Despite having won seven trophies in the past 18 months, Barcelona players and Guardiola are still as hungry as ever for silverware.
"Barca continuing to win things is important and what will make everyone happy," said Spanish star Andrés Iniesta.
However, winning the Super Cup will be an extremely difficult task for Guardiola's squad, not only because Sevilla is a formidable opponent, but also because Guardiola is deprived of seven regular starters as a consequence of Vicente Del Bosque's rather controversial decision to call seven Barcelona players to play against Mexico in an international friendly.
Given the circumstances, the first leg of this tie will be an excellent opportunity to see the new recruits of (arguably) the best football academy in the world: it will give us a chance to witness the new and exciting talents of such promising players as Thiago Alcantara, Víctor Vázquez, and Jonathan Dos Santos, among others.
If, as it should be expected, Guardiola gives some youth players an opportunity, they will give their best to impress him and fulfill their dream of being promoted to the first team, following in the footsteps of several academy products who ended up becoming stars (Puyol, Piqué, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Pedro...).
The match will also be an opportunity to see Adriano (who will return to the Sanchez Pijuan) in action for the first time in an official match wearing the blaugrana shirt.
Given the situation, Barcelona can't be considered overwhelming favorites for the first leg on Saturday, However, Barcelona fans have every reason to believe that Messi and the new La Masia products can get a good result in Sevilla and then, with the Spanish World Champions back, celebrate another trophy at the Nou Camp on 21 August.
If Barcelona succeeds, they will become the most successful team in the Spanish Super Cup history. Since 1982 (the first year the Super Cup was played), Barcelona have eight trophies, just like Real Madrid. A win here will break the tie. Yet another reason for the Barcelona players to step up and win...