Real Madrid vs. Barcelona: Starting XI prediction for Supercopa 2022 semifinal

Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, Marco Asensio (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, Marco Asensio (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

LW Vinicius Junior

Vinicius Junior sure loves a good Clasico. We saw that in 2019-2020 when he scored the go-ahead goal, and we saw that again earlier this season when he had Oscar Minguez and the rest of the Barça defense on strings. There is no stopping Vini Jr., who returned from COVID-19 to destroy Valencia with a brace. His close control, skill, and passion on the pitch make him a nightmare for any defense, especially a Barcelona unit that is shambolic at times. Vinicius would love nothing more than to embarrass Xavi’s side once again.

CF Karim Benzema

Luka Jovic is a possibility now that he is back from COVID-19, as he would have started last week instead of Mariano Diaz at Alcoyano. But when Karim Benzema is fit, he starts. Benzema could use some rest, true, but I cannot imagine Benz sitting on the sidelines against Barcelona. This is a must-win match on a personal level for Real Madrid, and Benzema loves adding to his tally in Clasicos. After scoring twice against Valencia, Benz would be dreaming of another brace, shattering Barcelona hearts as he did last year with his brilliant backheel goal.

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RW Marco Asensio

Yes, I am predicting almost the exact same lineup as the Valencia match, albeit with a returning Dani Carvajal at right back instead of Lucas Vazquez. The right wing position is the one I am least certain about, but Gareth Bale is still out and Eden Hazard probably won’t be trusted in a free role for this game. Clasicos are always tough, regardless of the difference in quality of the sides this season, and Marco Asensio is the man in form right now. Asensio scored against Alcoyano and was even better vs. Valencia, drawing five fouls and creating Vini’s second goal with his shot. Ancelotti wants Asensio to get in a groove and get confidence, and while he also wants to support Hazard, I have a strong feeling he values Asensio more.