UEFA SUPER CUP 2011 PREVIEW: FC BARCELONA vs FC PORTO

(26th AUG 2011)

 

UEFA Champions League title holders FC Barcelona will compete against UEFA Europa League winners FC Porto for the 2011 UEFA Super Cup, which will be held at the Stade Louis II in Monaco on August 26, 2011.

FC Barcelona earned their spot by winning the 2011 UEFA Champions League title, defeating Manchester United 3-1 in the final. En route to their Champions League title FC Barcelona also beat top European clubs like Arsenal, Shakhtar Donetsk and La Liga arch-rivals Real Madrid. FC Barcelona will be appearing at the UEFA Super Cup for a record eighth-time. FC Barcelona has won the UEFA Super Cup three-times and has been a runner-up four times. The last time they won the UEFA Super Cup was in 2009, where they defeated Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0. Key players for FC Barcelona include Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, David Villa, Carles Puyol and new signing Cesc Fabregas.

FC Porto won the UEFA Europa League for a second time to earn their berth in the 2011 UEFA Super Cup. FC Porto defeated Braga 1-0 in the UEFA Europa League final. On their way to the final, FC Porto also beat teams like Spartak Moscow, CSKA Moscow and Villareal. FC Porto will mark their fourth appearance in a UEFA Super Cup match. The only time FC Porto won the UEFA Super Cup was in 1987, where they defeated Ajax 2-0 on aggregate. Since the UEFA Super Cup format was changed to a one-match final, FC Porto has not won. However, FC Porto has managed to make two appearances in the past 2 decades, losing 1-0 to AC Milan in 2003 and losing to Valencia 2-1 in 2004. FC Porto will rely on its key players like Maicon, Joao Moutinho, Cristian Rodriguez, Hulk and Walter, new signing Steven Defour may also make an appearance in this game. Despite manager Villas-Boas leaving the club for Chelsea, the Portuguese team have already continued their winning habit by picking up their 1st trophy this season (2-1 against Guimares in Portuguese Super Cup). Now they are ready to collect another one before the regular season even starts!

FC Barcelona and FC Porto have met seven times in UEFA competition and will be their first meeting on neutral ground. So far FC Barcelona has had the better record with four wins against FC Porto’s three. Notably, FC Barcelona has won the last three encounters against FC Porto. But this is a Super Cup… Different motivation, different aims, start of the regular season… Anything can happen here!

 

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