Jose Mourinho used to joke that he’d prepare for Clasicos by training with just ten men on the pitch but for Zinedine Zidane that scenario must be avoided in the Supercopa de Espana first leg.
Real Madrid have had a man sent off in three of the last four encounters with Barcelona and while seeing out the opener at the Camp Nou, Los Blancos would hate to face the decisive return without a key player.
In November 2015, the Blaugrana were cruising to a 4-0 win at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu when Isco crashed in with a late challenge on Neymar, receiving his marching orders just as Sergio Ramos did in the second derby of that season.
However, Real went on to win that game with Cristiano Ronaldo netting the winner after his teammates’ red card.
Madrid weren’t so lucky the following campaign, drawing 1-1 with the full complement at the Camp Nou before Ramos was dismissed for a 77th-minute lunge on Lionel Messi in a Clasico that Barcelona went on to snatch 3-2.
Real Madrid are dominating in Europe with their supremacy undeniable with the trophies that they have won but it is not just the silverware that stands out but the players have also left their mark with their breathtaking football.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Ramos, Modric… have all stood out in key games which will linger long in history with the latest stand-out performance coming in the Champions League final where Real where supreme against a Juventus side that came with a reputation for being dominant defensively. Zinedine Zidane’s side though were able to hit four past them on the way to victory.
The route to the final was already a demonstration of their capability such as the first leg of the semi-final against Atletico Madrid with Cristiano hitting a hat-trick as he demonstrated to perfection the art of a striker.
There was the famous run from Gareth Bale down the wing at Mestalla that won Real the Copa del Rey against Barcelona that is well remembered by fans and especially the way he tormented Bartra.
Then the Champions League semi-final first leg 4-0 victory at Allianz stadium over Bayern Munich showed what was to come from this Real side simply in the way they swept away top quality opposition.
These are some of the best displays from Real in recent years and show how strong this team really is.
However, for some fans there is still one target that they still need to achieve and that is to show their supremacy at Camp Nou which so far they have not done.
The rivalry with Barca is so strong that a victory over them is considered almost the same as a trophy and being so special that it gives an extra element to the Supercopa de Espana. Now Zidane’s team have the chance to assert their superiority that they have had over recent years at Camp Nou.