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Mourinho and Villanova to serve up eye-watering Super Cup "El Clasico"

Barcelona v Real Madrid has never been a game for the faint-hearted and tonight (Thursday) will be no different as the Spanish giants square off in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup at the Camp Nou.

The game will be the first “El Clasico” meeting between Tito Villanova and Jose Mourinho since the former was installed as Pep Guardiola’s successor to the Catalan throne back in June.

However, due to events off the pitch at the conclusion of the showpiece two-legged affair last season, the two men’s embrace before a ball is even kicked will be an appetiser for the 90-minute serving of theatre on the pitch.

Last year, then champions Barca ousted Mourinho’s men 5-4 on aggregate to retain the trophy they have held since 2009.

After shenanigans and pretence on the pitch, it was the turn of “the Special One” to upstage the result with an act of petulance.

Mourinho is never far from controversy

Surrounded by players and coaches of both parties, the former Chelsea chief proceeded to gouge the right eye of Villanova, then Guardiola’s right-hand man without warning.

In retaliation, the Barca coach handed the Portuguese a slap and both were given subsequent bans for their acts of bravado, which were later revoked.

One year on and the landscape has changed. Real are now the kings of Spain and Barcelona are playing catch-up.

Having over-powered the might of Messi and co. last season to take La Liga crown back to the Bernabeu, the Madrid mastermind showed again why he is “especial”.

Nonetheless, their lack of summer signings could be a slight cause for concern after a subdued 1-1 draw at home to Valencia on Sunday night.

Villanova has also win formula

With the Modric saga rolling on, the club are still yet to re-invest in their title-winning team.

Just two hours later and Barcelona, in front of a blood-thirsty Camp Nou crowd, had already executed their first opposition at a canter with the majestic Messi again taking centre stage.

A 5-1 home disposal of a handy Real Sociedad side displayed that Villanova will not tinker with what works and he is now plotting the downfall of another Real in this eye-watering instalment of a rich rivalry.

David Villa is poised to start his first match for the Catalans since breaking his leg in the World Club Championships in Japan last December.

New addition, Alex Song is likely to start on the bench despite inclusion in the squad after his £15m move from Arsenal on Tuesday.

Pepe is Real’s only doubt after suffering a nasty head injury on Sunday. Karim Benzema and Marcelo both hope for recalls for this colossal clash.

By Tom Sharp

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