Wednesday is the second leg of the Spanish Supercopa between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Barcelona took a 3-2 lead after winning at home in the first leg. With a first leg score that was close enough to allow either team to win the Supercopa, the contest at the Bernabeu in Madrid is up for grabs. With that being said, here are three keys to a Real Madrid victory.
1. Equalize possession
Real had possession of the ball for less than a third of the first game. That's unacceptable for any team that wants to win, let alone a team trying to defeat Barcelona. If Real wants to have a chance to win, the back line will have to dispossess the Barca forwards and the midfield will have to make smart passes to the forwards. If they can keep the ball away from the dangerous Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi, then they'll have a shot at victory. Real's playmakers will have to turn the tables and keep possession away from Barca's playmakers.
2. Get the Ball to Ozil and Ronaldo
Real Madrid struggled to get the ball, let alone get it to their best players. The addition of newly acquired Luka Modric should help. If they want a chance at winning, touches must come often to Mesut Ozil, and Ronaldo. The two didn't get enough touches to make a big enough difference in the first leg. These are two of Real's best playmakers up top, with Ozil developing into a premier attacking-midfielder and Ronaldo renowned for his goal-scoring ability. Getting the ball to the feet of these two guys is of vital importance. Talent makes a difference against such a good team like Barcelona, so the playmakers need to show up, get touches, and capitalize on all opportunities.
3. Stop Messi
Easier said than done, I know. But Real is one of the few clubs in the world that can at least slow Messi down enough to the point where he isn't able to do what he is capable of doing. If the back-line can slow Messi down and force him away from the penalty box, then it is a win. Messi almost always goes left, even if the defense knows it.
Messi is often bounced around, but Real needs to bounce him around while dislodging the ball from his feet. Even though Barcelona has tons of weapons, Real needs to make someone else beat them.
Even if they are able to execute these things, it'll be tough sledding against arguably the best club in the world. But Real has the talent to compete. Wednesday's second leg will definitely be interesting.