Real Madrid will be more dangerous following Getafe defeat, admits Tito Vilanova

Barcelona trainer Tito Vilanova believes his side will face a tougher task against Real Madrid as the club are still in search of their first win of the season.

The Blaugrana narrowly escaped defeat to Osasuna at the weekend as they came from behind to win 2-1 but Jose Mourinho’s side were not as fortunate as they went down to Getafe by the same scoreline.

Asked whether Sunday’s result would make Los Blancos more vulnerable or more formidable in the second leg of the Supercopa on Thursday, the Barca coach was in no doubt that the latter effect would be more prominent.

“[It will make them] More dangerous, yes, yes. That’s normal, the same would happen with us,” Vilanova said in a press conference.

“If we had not won in two or three games and we were playing at home, we would try to change the dynamic as quickly as possible.

“But in themselves Madrid are already dangerous with the number of players they have, and in the [Santiago] Bernabeu. It is impossible to think about going to Madrid and having an easy game.

“They are very good. You just have to look at what they did last year.”

However, Vilanova admitted that while it would be nice to lift some silverware by winning the Supercopa he does not believe the result will have much bearing on the rest of the season.

“[It is] Better to win it than not win it, but I don’t think it marks the season. We have had three games and thinking that the winner of the Super Cup is going to win all the titles to come… I don’t think so. There is so much ahead.

“We all know Madrid will many games and points. It is too much to analyse with only two match days [in La Liga].”

The 42-year-old also revealed that new-signing Alexandre Song could be in line to make his debut in the fixture.

“He [Song] has only had a week. He has a few mechanisms to learn obviously. We will see if he gets a few minutes.”

Puyol included in Barcelona squad for Real Madrid clash

Puyol - máscara

Un Puyol pibe y su máscara “reliquia” / Getty

Carles Puyol has been selected as part of the Barcelona squad to face Real Madrid in the return fixture of the Supercopa despite fracturing his cheekbone on Sunday evening.

The Blaugrana captain looked set for a lengthy absence after suffering the injury during the 2-1 win over Osasuna, but will wear a face mask in order to play against his side’s arch rivals on Thursday evening.

Barca will enter the Santiago Bernabeu with a slender 3-2 advantage over Jose Mourinho’s men and of the first team squad, only two players will not be among the traveling contingent.

Eric Abidal will be absent as he continues to recover from a liver transplant while Marc Muniesa also undergoes rehabilitation following surgery on his knee.

Although injured, Thiago Alcantara and Issac Cuenca will be present as Tito Vilanova looks to win his first piece of silverware since taking over from Pep Guardiola.

'Modric is not worth €42m' – Almunia unimpressed with former Tottenham man

Manuel Almunia has claimed that Real Madrid have paid over the odds for their new signing Luka Modric.

The Croatian completed a €42m transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu on Monday and while the former Arsenal goalkeeper conceded that Jose Mourinho has signed a decent player, he does not believe it represents value for money.

“Modric is a good player, but I do not know what all the fuss around him is,” Almunia said to COM Radio.

“€42m seems a bit exorbitant, he is a good player and he can be useful for Madrid but the price is a bit exaggerated.”

Almunia went on to talk about his former team-mate and recent Barcelona acquistion, Alexandre Song, commending the Cameroonian’s midfield attributes.

“He is a wall, his greatest strengths are the distruption of the opposing game and stealing the ball and sometimes he has the genius to send a brilliant pass which surprised us [at Arsenal].”

Modric could make his debut for Los Blancos on Thursday as his new side look to overturn a 3-2 deficit to their arch rivals, Barcelona, in the second-leg of the Supercopa.

Galliani pours cold water on Kaka, Palombo and Carroll transfer speculation

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has insisted that the outfit’s transfer activity has been completed for the summer with the signing of Bojan, ruling out moves for Kaka, Andy Carroll and Angelo Palombo.

The Rossoneri announced the signing of the former Barcelona striker on a season-long loan from Roma on Tuesday and the club’s chief executive officer was adamant that there will be no more deals, despite intense links to the Real Madrid, Liverpool and Sampdoria players.

“I continue to say it, but you do not believe me, with the signing of Bojan the market is closed, completely closed,” Galliani said to reporters outside Milan’s headquarters.

“[There will be] no trip to Madrid for Kaka, nor any signings like [Antonio] Nocerino last year.

“He [Palombo] was offered to us, but we refused the offer.

“Carroll? We have so many strikers.”

Milan got their 2012-13 Serie A campaign off to the worse possible start as they suffered a 1-0 loss at home to Sampdoria last weekend.

Galliani rules out moves for Kaka, Palombo and Carroll

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has insisted that the outfit’s transfer activity has been completed for the summer with the signing of Bojan, ruling out moves for Kaka, Andy Carroll and Angelo Palombo.

The Rossoneri announced the signing of the former Barcelona striker on a season-long loan from Roma on Tuesday and the club’s chief executive officer was adamant that there will be no more deals, despite intense links to the Real Madrid, Liverpool and Sampdoria players.

“I continue to say it, but you do not believe me, with the signing of Bojan the market is closed, completely closed,” Galliani said to reporters outside Milan’s headquarters.

“[There will be] no trip to Madrid for Kaka, nor any signings like [Antonio] Nocerino last year.

“He [Palombo] was offered to us, but we refused the offer.

“Carroll? We have so many strikers.”

Milan got their 2012-13 Serie A campaign off to the worse possible start as they suffered a 1-0 loss at home to Sampdoria last weekend.