Skip to content
GO TO bet365 Sports
  1. Football
  2. La Liga

Spanish Super Cup final preview: Xavi bids to deliver silverware to Barcelona

For the 16th time in their storied rivalry, Barcelona and Real Madrid will contest a cup final having held their nerve in the previous round to set up an intriguing El Clasico edition of the Spanish Super Cup final.

Both sides needed a penalty shootout to see off stubborn opposition in Valencia and Real Betis in the semi-finals in midweek, much to the delight of the powers that be in Saudi Arabia that splashed the cash to bring Spain’s top teams to the Middle East.

Although they’ve won only one of their seven previous meetings with Real Madrid in Spanish Super Cup finals, Barcelona are the 6/4 favourites to win their first Super Cup since 2018 and secure what would be their first piece of silverware under Xavi’s management.

Real Madrid are 17/10 and the odds appear to be stacked against them coming home with the trophy for a 13th time after some bad luck on the injury front. But given their recent track record in finals and victory over Barcelona in the most recent Clasico, Real may prove dangerous underdogs.

Injuries limiting Ancelotti's options

WhatReal Madrid v Barcelona, Spanish Super Cup
WhereKing Fahd Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
When19:00, Sunday 15th January
How to watchBT Sport 2 & bet365 live streaming
OddsBarcelona 6/4, Draw 5/2, Real Madrid 17/10

Real had to dig deep to see off Valencia in their semi-final but paid a pretty heavy price with Eduardo Camavinga, Lucas Vazquez and Eder Militao all suffering injuries.

That trio could join calf injury victims David Alaba and Aurelien Tchouameni in taking a watching brief for the final, while the status of Dani Carvajal is unknown after the Spain international was deemed only fit enough to start on the bench against Valencia before appearing as a substitute.

The injuries to Militao and Vazquez are particularly concerning given Real’s recent issues at the back. Valencia asked plenty of questions of a Real rearguard that’s now only kept two clean sheets in its last 10 matches and must now go up against a Robert Lewandowski-led Barca attack.

A patched-up Real defence could lead to a busy evening for Real stopper Thibaut Courtois and, while the self-proclaimed world’s best goalkeeper is in good form, so are Barcelona’s frontline.

Fantastic Fati cameo gives Xavi food for thought

Barcelona netted twice in their semi-final against Real Betis and could have had more were it not for VAR’s intervention. Lewandowski scored in the 13th different competition of the 14 he has played in throughout his career before Ansu Fati stepped off the bench to net a fine volley in extra-time.

Fati was certainly more effective than Raphinha in his time on the field and Xavi admitted after the game that he should have introduced the youngster sooner. Handing the injury-prone 20-year-old a start in the final must now be on the mind of Xavi, who has a nice selection dilemma on his hands with Memphis Depay and Ferran Torres also waiting in the wings to join the attack.

With so much firepower, it’s a surprise the La Liga leaders have found themselves in so many tight games recently, including the last-four encounter with Betis. Barcelona’s inability to put games away or hold on to leads has been their Achilles heel of late and improvements are clearly needed.

Benzema finding some form

Retaining control against Real Madrid is no easy task though, particularly with Karim Benzema having shown signs of getting back to his best in the semi-final.

Benzema has been plagued by injury issues this season, forcing him to miss France’s World Cup campaign, but looked sharp against Valencia, netting his 11th goal of the season.

The 35-year-old was the difference-maker in Real’s 3-1 win over Barcelona in last October’s Clasico, opening the scoring to set Los Blancos on their way and is 11/10 to get on the scoresheet on Sunday in a fixture that usually delivers goals.

Firepower may give Barca decisive edge

With two of world football’s most lethal strikers on show in Lewandowski and Benzema, and both defences looking a yard off the pace in the semi-finals, those in attendance in Riyadh could be treated to an entertaining final. The last six competitive Clasicos have featured at least three goals and over 2.5 goals is 8/11 to land once more.

Although neither side has been wholly convincing since the season resumed post-World Cup, Barcelona’s need for a win feels greater in order to further legitimise Xavi’s reign. Real’s injury situation leaves them short-handed and their recent run of success in cup finals may be about to come to an end.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy

New to bet365? Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets

Join Now

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.