When and where: The first leg of the Supercopa kicks-off from Camp Nou at 4.30 p.m. ET. Live coverage will be provided by ESPN Deportes, with a live stream available in both English and Spanish on ESPN3.
Preview: The greatest current rivalry, featuring arguably the two greatest club teams in world football, resumes on Thursday as Barcelona and Real Madrid lock horns at Camp Nou for the first trophy of the new season: the Supercoppa.
While the clash may not have quite the gravitas of their last meeting, which effectively decided the destination of the La Liga title, there is always a fascination from around the globe when the two sides face off.
This match may have particular significance, too, with a new man in the Barcelona dugout. The entrenched battle between Barcelona's Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho that has become such a feature of the Clasicos in the past two seasons is no more as Tito Vilanova takes the reigns against the Catalan giants' biggest rival for the first time.
While Guardiola and Mourinho developed a fierce animosity for each other, the relationship between Vilanova and Real's coach is far from devoid of historical hostilities.
It was in the Supercoppa last season where Mourinho committed the shocking act of gauging the then Barcelona assistant's eye from behind. But, while the stress of staying at the top and particularly battling with Real appeared to have worn Guardiola out by the end, Vilanova is eager to try and keep things in perspective.
"I want to enjoy this profession," the 42-year-old said in the pre-match press conference, according to Barcelona's website. "The match is important but it's not healthy to allow myself to think that if we don't win the world will come to an end. There are things that are more important than tomorrow's game."
Vilanova made a winning start to life in the Barcelona hot seat with an impressive 5-1 triumph over Real Sociedad on Sunday. Perhaps the biggest thing that will be garnered from that win, though, is the goal scoring return of David Villa after being out since December with a broken leg.
Along with Villa, competing for a starting place against Real will be latest signing Alex Song. Vilanova has indicated that the former Arsenal man will be integrated quickly into the first team, although he may have to start on the bench with Barcelona at full strength in the center of midfield and defense.
While Barcelona got off to a strong start in La Liga, Real suffered a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Valencia. It may be ridiculously early in the campaign, but such is the dominance of the two teams that any dropped points are potentially significant.
Certainly, Mourinho will be eager to kick-start Real's season and put down an early marker against both Barcelona and Vilanova in the first-leg of the Supercoppa.
Los Blancos began to turn the tide of the rivalry in their favor last season with a 2-1 victory at Camp Nou in April that led Real to their first La Liga crown in four years.
Previously often criticized for his failure to perform against Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo struck the winner in the last encounter and the forward will again be counted on to be the talisman for the visitors at Camp Nou.
Fellow Portuguese Pepe will miss the match, though, having suffered a concussion in the draw with Valencia. Raul Albiol is expected to take his place in the center of defense.
G: Victor Valdes
D: Alves, Puyol, Mascherano, Alba
M: Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
F: Pedro, Messi, Fabregas
Real Madrid (probable)
D: Albiol, Ramos, Albiol, Coentrao
M: Khedira, Alonso
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo
Prediction: While the Supercoppa doesn't hold the same prestige of the other trophies these sides will be battling for this season, there is little doubt that both will be intensely committed to getting the victory. There will be interest in how Vilanova approaches the game after Guardiola increasingly looked to tinker his formation away from an orthodox 4-3-3, notably against Real. The early indications are that his successor will be less experimental. Looking likely to get more game time under Vilanova, Pedro could also be a key player in adding quality width to help break down what is sure to be a stubborn Real rearguard.
Playing away from home in the first leg, expect Mourinho to set-up his side to be difficult to break down. As always, though, Ronaldo will be a key threat on the break as Real try to snatch an away goal.
Barcelona look in good goal scoring form and should get the win, but expect the contest to still be in the balance when the second-leg heads to the Bernabeu next week.
Barcelona 3-1 Real Madrid