Barcelona vs Real Madrid LIVE: El Clasico action as Xavi faces arch rivals for the first time as manager of Catalans in Spanish Super Cup semi-final clash in Saudi Arabia
- Barcelona face Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final in Riyadh
- It is the first time Barca coach Xavi Hernandez will take on Real in the dugout
- Real are in much better form, topping LaLiga with 17 points more than Barca
- This is the first meeting between the two rivals in a competitive game abroad
- Latest La Liga news, including live action and results
Barcelona face Real Madrid in a Spanish Super Cup semi-final in Saudi Arabia in what could potentially be a harrowing night for the Catalans.
This is Xavi Hernandez’s first Clasico since becoming Barca coach and he has admitted that right now Real are far superior to his side.
While Real are flying high at the top of LaLiga, Barca are all the way down in sixth, trailing their fierce rivals by a whopping 17 points.
Real Madrid’s Luka Modric taking on Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong earlier this season
Xavi enjoyed many wins over Real as a player and meets them for the first time as coach
Carlo Ancelotti’s side go into the game in confident mood after a 4-1 win over Valencia, while Barcelona were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw at Granada in their last outing, conceding an 89th-minute equaliser.
Follow Sportsmail’s Richard Martin for live coverage of the match in Riyadh, including build-up, team news and updates.
It may be the first Clasico in Saudi Arabia but there’s so much history between these two sides in the Spanish Super Cup. Who can forget the 2011 clash at the Nou Camp, when tension between the two dugouts reached boiling point and Jose Mourinho ended up sticking his finger in Barca assistant coach Tito Vilanova’s eye
Get up to speed ahead of the game with this preview from Sportsmail’s man in Spain, Pete Jenson.
‘The last time Barcelona played the Spanish Super Cup final-four event in Saudi Arabia it sealed the fate of coach Ernesto Valverde, who was sacked after failing to make it through the semi-final,’ Jenson writes.
‘That will not be Xavi’s fate whatever happens in Wednesday’s El Clasico, but it’s still a game that will go a long way to deciding how his first season gets judged by the club’s supporters.
‘Beat Real Madrid in his first match against them as a coach and his most important task will be to keep everyone’s, including rambunctious president Joan Laporta’s, feet on the ground.’
Here’s how Carlo Ancelotti’s side are lining up tonight. The LaLiga leaders are at full strength, with the Italian resting no-one for the match, even though the Super Cup is not exactly the most important trophy.
Barcelona have released their starting line-up and the big news is that Ferran Torres is making his debut after completing a £55million move from Manchester City last month
Tonight’s game is being played in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and is the first competitive game between Real and Barcelona to be played abroad. Organisers dreamt of the two clubs facing each other in the final when they changed the format of the competition in 2019 in Jeddah but Barca were beaten by Atletico Madrid in the inaugural tournament while Real lost to Athletic Bilbao last year, which was held in Seville due to Covid.
Good evening and welcome to Sportsmail’s live coverage of Barcelona vs Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final!
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