JOSE MOURINHO will return to the Camp Nou tonight looking to build on an impressive 2-2 first leg draw in the Spanish SuperCup. Unlike previous clashes with Barcelona, Mourinho can confidently claim he had the upperhand on Pep Guardiola for the majority of the 90 minutes on Sunday.
He might even be surprised to have only earned a draw – Mesut Ozil giving Real Madrid the lead before David Villa's peach of a shot and Lionel Messi's mazy, bouncing run turned the game around.
Xabi Alonso gave Los Merengues a deserved leveller and there were further chances that could have seen the home side snatch it.
The irony is that Madrid were a far bigger threat to Barcelona with a dominating attacking display that gave their creative players freedom to move and switch than they were with the ridged, stifling tactics used for the majority of last season.
It could be argued that Barca weren't at full strength – the absence of Xavi from the starting line-up can never be underestimated – and perhaps not entirely in full flow with only 52 per cent of possession recording one of the lowest scores in the Guardiola era.
An interesting statistic heading into tonight is that Mourinho has never won in seven matches at the Camp Nou, drawing three and losing four from seven.
We could also see Cesc Fabregas make his second debut in a Blaugrana shirt and with an already impassioned support demanding an assertive display, I think the reigning European champions will sneak the second leg.
We saw Madrid take the lead early doors on Sunday before Barca netted twice from a set of half chances. Taking both teams to score is a good start (4-6, Betfred/Boylesports/Bluesquare) but I have a feeling the Nou Camp stars will edge it by a single goal – a 2-1 victory pays out at 33-4 with bwin and could turn out to be good value.
In terms of scorers, Messi (6-5, Coral) paid off in the first leg but I fancy Pedro to be among the goals tonight and he's 5-2 with Stan James.