Lionel Messi (C) of Barcelona vies for the ball with Mateo Kovacic(C-BACK) of Real Madrid during their International Champions Cup football match at Hard Rock Stadium on July 29, 2017 in Miami, Florida.
Barcelona host Real Madrid in the Spanish football season’s opening act in the Super Cup, first leg on Sunday (2000GMT) needing to dispel doubts they have fallen further behind their rivals following Neymar’s departure.
New Barca coach Ernesto Valverde therefore has a tactical conundrum on his Camp Nou bow to fill the void alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez up front.
The last time the sides met in competitive action back in April the Catalans emerged victorious at the Santiago Bernabeu even without the then suspended Neymar as Messi won an incredible encounter 3-2 with the last kick of the game.
Casemiro and Isco were on target as Madrid’s midfield dazzled in Skopje, Macedonia, but Zidane will be forced into at least one change from the side that started in midweek as Luka Modric is suspended.
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