Camp Nou

Next Game

Barcelona v Sociedad

Saturday, 09 May 2015, 17:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Camp Nou

Last Game

Barcelona 3 - 0 Bay Munich

Wednesday, 06 May 2015, 19:45

Champions League Semi-Final

Martino: Barca expect to win

Gerardo Martino has admitted his Barcelona team are the clear favourites to win the Spanish Super Cup ahead of the first leg at Atletico Madrid.

Last Updated: 20/08/13 at 19:50 Post Comment

Gerardo Martino: Expects his side to win

Gerardo Martino: Expects his side to win

The Catalans qualified for the Super Cup after winning the Primera Division title last season, which they clinched with four games to spare, on their way to accumulating a total of 100 points.

In Martino's first competitive game in charge at the weekend, Barca showed no sign of letting up, hammering Levante 7-0 at the Nou Camp.

The Argentinian coach was happy to accept his team were expected to beat Atletico, who won the Copa del Rey last season, but warned that the nature of a two-legged competition meant there was a possibility of slipping up.

"It's difficult for Barcelona to not assume the role of favourite, that's how it is in every competition" he said during a press conference, quoted in AS.

"But accepting that doesn't mean you will prove on the pitch that you are the favourites, and we will demand a lot more from ourselves. In the league you get a lot more chances than a competition like this one, where you just need one good or bad night."

Although the Super Cup is not considered a major trophy, Martino said he was just as determined to win it.

"When you coach Barcelona, you always have to have the highest aspirations and you are obliged to win all the time. We will try to win this trophy. It's an 180 minute game, and we have to approach it with that in mind."

Martino raised eyebrows in the game with Levante by taking off Lionel Messi, who was not injured, before the end of the game, the first time he has been substituted since May 2010.

The coach explained after the game that Messi needed a rest, but on Tuesday he remarked he would not be taking the forward off very often.

"Messi knows the situation, and I will be careful enough to make sure I don't substitute him five games in a row. This is a two-way relationship, and we have to consult each other, I won't just decide because I am the coach."

Atletico coach Simeone also believes that Barcelona are favourites for the game.

Quoted in AS, he told reporters: "They have Messi, the best player around, and in Neymar they've bought a player who could become the best player in the world, as well as having Xavi [Hernandez], Pedro [Rodriguez] and Alexis [Sanchez]. They have a lot of important players and it's no surprise they are favourites. But we will fight them with all our might."

Simeone also had some words of praise for his compatriot Martino.

Simeone said: "He was an extraordinary player with an incredible vision for the game. Now we can see he's also a very good coach. It will be great to face each other."

Atletico got their season off to a winning start by beating Sevilla 3-1 away from home, with Diego Costa bagging a brace.

The coach said former Barcelona striker David Villa "can form a great partnership" for Atletico.

Villa will face his former employers for the first time since moving to the Spanish capital in the summer for 2.1million euros (£1.8 million), but Simeone said the player would be more focussed on delivering for his new team - in what will be their fourth final since Simeone took over - adding to the UEFA Europa League and Super Cup in 2012, plus the Copa del Rey final last season.

"Beyond what he feels personally, he knows this team is a collective that is excited about playing another final. This is our fourth final in a year and a half, which is no mean feat, and it makes us very happy."

Neither side have fresh injury concerns after their weekend games, although Atletico midfielder Tiago Mendes, who was suspended for the game in Seville, is free to face Barcelona.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

still can't see the Phil Jones thing that some people go on about. Whenever I watch him play it's a repeat of headless chicken meets a gurning Bambi on ice for 90 minutes.

diabolicaldiaby
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

P

robably the first list I've come across in a long time where I agree with a large majority of what was written. Can't agree with everything though, Zaba has had an awful season by his standards, I'd put Monreal (a player who I've never rated) up there, gotta give credit where it's due, he's really stepped up his game.

scroteymcbooger
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

S

ome top analysis here..... UNITED WOULD BE TOP IF IT WEREN'T FOR ALL THEM GAMES THEY LOST

benvo81
United Progress Stifled By Bottom-Half Record

Footer 365

Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich: Lionel Messi double puts Barca in control

Two goals from Lionel Messi helped Barcelona beat Bayern Munich 3-0 in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.

Graham Taylor rejects claims he was asked to cap number of black players in England side

Graham Taylor has denied claims that the Football Association tried to cap the number of black players when he was in charge of the England team.

Spanish football could be shut down from May 16 over TV rights argument

La Liga faces being shut down from May 16 over an argument between Spain's football federation and the Government.

Mail Box

Coutinho Better Than Cazorla And Cesc...

Philippe Coutinho has outperformed Santi Cazorla AND Cesc Fabregas, while Arsenal need no new signings. We also have mails on Olivier Giroud and shopping lists...

Giroud Is More Than Good Enough...

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are integral to Arsenal's title hopes next season. There's also more on handballs, Juventus, and Ronaldo holding Bale back...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company