Barcelona v Real Madrid live, stream, Spanish Super Cup: What time is kick-off, score

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi will be
without Neymar alongside him.

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.

The Brazilian’s world record 222 million euro ($261 million)
move to Paris Saint-Germain just days before the start of the
campaign deprives a Barca side that missed out to Madrid for
the Spanish title for the first time in five years last season
one of their most dangerous weapons.

Barca’s immediate attempts to find a replacement in Liverpool’s
Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele of Borussia Dortmund have
so far fallen short.

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.

And influential defender Gerard Pique admitted Barca must
compensate for Neymar’s absence collectively rather than
looking for a saviour in the transfer market.

“More than replacing him, we have to make ourselves stronger.
There isn’t a replacement for Neymar in the market,” said
Pique, who also recognised on Saturday his desperate attempts
at talking Neymar out of moving had failed.

Real Madrid's Welsh forward Gareth Bale (C), Real Madrid's French defender Raphael Varane (L) and Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Marcelo.

Real Madrid’s Welsh forward
Gareth Bale (C), Real Madrid’s French defender Raphael
Varane (L) and Real Madrid’s Brazilian defender

Pique is hoping Barca will be motivated by the pain of missing
out to Madrid for the biggest titles last season as Real also
became the first side to retain the Champions League.

“When your rivals win more than you, you have to turn the
situation around,” added Pique.

“History shows we have known how to do that, but history also
shows you can’t always win.” Recent clashes between the two do
favour Barca. 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.

Barca also edged last month’s Miami friendly between the two in
Neymar’s last game for Barca 3-2.

FC Barcelona's coach Ernesto Valverde attends a training session

FC Barcelona’s coach Ernesto
Valverde attends a training session

“The friendly game during the tour is a reference point,” said
Valverde. “But it is different now there is a title at stake.”
Gerard Deulofeu scored and provided two assists in just 45
minutes in Neymar’s role as Barca completed their pre-season
preparations by sweeping aside Chapecoense 5-0 on Monday.

However, Valverde also has the option to strengthen Barca’s
midfield by sacrificing a forward to add Sergi Roberto to the
normal midfield three of Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and
Andres Iniesta.

– Ronaldo ‘ready’ to return –

Madrid’s relentless winning streak under Zinedine Zidane
continued in midweek as Los Blancos beat Manchester United 2-1
to win the UEFA Super Cup 2-1.

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.

Mateo Kovacic is the favourite to replace his Croatian teammate
in midfield. However, Modric’s absence increases Cristiano
Ronaldo’s chances of returning to the Madrid starting XI after
making just a brief cameo appearance as a substitute against
his former club in Macedonia.

Ronaldo only returned to training with his teammates last
weekend on their return from a tour of the USA having been
given an extended break following Portugal’s participation in
the Confederations Cup and a court appearance in Madrid over
allegations of tax evasion.

“He had his holiday and has been with us only five or six days,
but physically he worked very hard during his holidays and he
is ready,” said Zidane.

Live stream the match here

Originally published as
Live: Spanish Super Cup El Clasico – Barca v Real

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