Barcelona will face Real Betis in the second Spanish Super Cup semifinal as both sides look to reach the final against Real Madrid who got past Valencia on penalties.
Under the new format, the Catalans — who won neither LaLiga or Copa del Rey — have an opportunity to knock out last season’s cup winners and an opportunity to win their first title under Xavi Hernandez should they beat Real Madrid.
Last season’s Super Cup saw Barcelona ousted in the semifinal against the aforementioned Real Madrid. In this new edition, the Blaugrana have yet to win it. In their first of three attempts, they reached the final in the 2020-21 season only to fall against Athletic Bilbao.
Xavi will have a full-strength Barcelona at his disposal
One significant boost for Xavi is he’ll be able to count on Robert Lewandowski. The Polish striker is currently serving a three-game league ban, missing out on Barcelona’s 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid on the weekend.
In essence, Barcelona will be at full strength and will likely field a strong line-up in order to ensure they give themselves the best chance to reach the final. It won’t be an easy task however.
Real Betis smell blood in the water and will fancy their chances against a Barcelona side that, despite decent results, are struggling as a collective. Their dependence on Lewandowski is more than evident and their questions at the back remain unanswered.
Regardless, reaching a final and winning a trophy is a priority for Xavi.
“We have to fight for the titles that are coming,” Xavi said in his pre-match press conference. “We are focused on the Super Cup. Betis is a difficult rival.”
It’s another reason to expect a “Gala XI” and why no one from Barça B was called up to the match squad.
With a 3-point lead in LaLiga, Barcelona will want to keep building on their newfound momentum. There would be no better way than to get past a tough Real Betis side and then take down their fiercest rivals in Real Madrid in the final. Still and all, that’s easier said than done.
Predicted Starting XI:
Kounde – Araujo – Christensen – Alba
Pedri – De Jong – Gavi
Dembele – Lewandowski – Fati