What Neymar's departure means for Barcelona - Zidane

Kristopher Nichols
August 13, 2017

Zidane has the chance on Sunday to take a step towards another trophy, in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup against rivals Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

Real had a disappointing pre-season tour of the United States but any doubts about their quality ahead of the coming campaign were banished with a dominant 2-1 win over Manchester United to win the European Super Cup, when they did not call upon Cristiano Ronaldo until late in the game. The second leg will be at the Santiago Bernabeu on August 16.

Barca are still reeling from the loss of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record €222 million (Dh964.6m) with their attempts to land a replacement in Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele of Borussia Dortmund so far falling short.

With Paco Alcacer or Gerard Deulofeu as his only options to join Messi and Suarez in a front three, Valverde may stray from the 4-3-3 formation his predecessor Luis Enrique preferred in order to bolster the midfield to counter Real.

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Madrid will be without midfielder Luka Modric, who will serve a one-game suspension dating back to the 2014 Spanish Super Cup.

His new deal at Real Madrid however comes with a stunning release clause of £634 million, and it is not certain if Barcelona would want to break the bank to land him.

Otherwise, the two sides would have to play out identical draws in this season's Clasicos, or win one each by identical scorelines - with Madrid having to have a better goal difference overall, for the Index's outcome to come true.

A footage from the Daily Mail showed Ernesto Valverde، gearing up for his first season in charge of Barcelona، put his players through an intense session at the club's base on Thursday.

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