Preview: Real Madrid vs Barcelona (Spanish Cup Final)

More than a game and more than a Cup. Tonight is at stake, in the frame of a splendid final, the prevalence of a system and style, also a philosophy. Whoever wins today, will be right. Will be right tonight, at least and will be a very long tonight, may last many days.

Duel of the Spanish Cup Final 2011
Real Madrid vs Barcelona

The first Classic of the series did not resolve the doubts. The draw left both armies with its right. On the one hand, Mourinho and supporters. For them winning is not a game, but a survival exercise. No matter the swimming style, brand butterfly or kindergarten puppy: the only goal is to stay afloat, ashore. On the other hand, Guardiola and supporters. The journey to the target as enjoyable as the goal. Football understood as ballet and fencing.

On paper, the sides will continue as distinct as in the Bernabeu. Is expected Real Madrid repeats with Pepe as the mainmast, key piece on the midfield that will complete Xabi and Khedira. No other speculation because Lass, still recovering, does not enter on the list. In the defense, Ramos will repalce Albiol, with Carvalho, Marcelo and Arbeloa on the right side The attack is not so clear, but Mourinho made clear a doubt: there will be 9. Özil has more options to play than Di Maria and Adebayor could be the striker. He was very active on Saturday and a good option for the air balls that Barcelona defends so bad.

In Barcelona, the first question is who will be the partner of Piqué: It looks like Puyol, although Busquets and Mascherano are at attention. More certain is the presence of Keita in midfield, probably as compensation for the heavy machinery that opposes Real Madrid.

Messi is the big question. He did not walked comfortable pursued by Pepe in the last match. To avoid marking he could move to the wings, probably to Marcelo's, where he will find a power enemy but with fewer teeth. With this movement also will help Alves. Another possibility to contain Marcelo, is Alves playing as midfielder, somethig that he did last season in the Classic at the Bernabeu.

If the improvement of Madrid is located in the Özil's creative input in connection with Cristiano and his ability to advance the midfield line, Barcelona focuses on Messi and Iniesta. The first was far of his level in the first assault and the second just came to life during the game. And we talk about a key player, an escapist, the perfect player to remove the opponent's pressure. This time Iniesta will be ahead in the place of Pedrito.

It's the second Clasicc in less than a week and the first opportunity to win a title. Mestalla may just be where Real Madrid win their first "Copa del Rey" in 18 years. By standing as one, fans and players have the Spanish Cup within grasp.

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