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Supercopa de Espana Preview: Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

Barcelona hold a slender advantage as they prepare to host Atletico Madrid in the second leg of the Supercopa de Espana on Wednesday.

The Catalan club lead the tie by virtue of away goals after earning a 1-1 draw in Madrid, as Neymar’s 66th-minute header cancelled out David Villa’s impressive volleyed opener at the Vicente Calderon.

For that reason, Gerardo Martino’s side go into the return fixture as slight favourites to seal an 11th Supercopa success in their fifth consecutive appearance in the competition.

Atletico, meanwhile, have only won the Supercopa on one occasion in their history – at the start of the 1984-85 season – and have finished as runners-up on three occasions since.

Barcelona have several injury concerns ahead of the game at Camp Nou, with Adriano (hamstring) a doubt, while Ibrahim Afellay (thigh), Isaac Cuenca (knee) and Carles Puyol (knee) all still out.

Lionel Messi, who is the all-time top scorer in the Supercopa with 10 goals, could also miss out after failing to feature in Sunday’s nervy 1-0 victory against Malaga due to a thigh issue, although he has returned to training.

Atletico have no such worries, and come into the game full of confidence after a crushing 5-0 win over Rayo Vallecano in La Liga.

Diego Costa netted his second and third goals of the new league season in that fixture, with the Brazilian looking in ominous form for Diego Simeone’s side.

With Barcelona’s away goal seeing them in the lead, Atletico will likely need to pull off their first win at Camp Nou since the 2005-06 campaign if they are to emerge with the trophy.

Mon 26 Aug, 2013
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