Barça coach Tito Vilanova warned that arch-rivals Real Madrid will be dangerous in Wednesday's Spanish Super Copa final clash after a three-game famine with no wins.
Barcelona won 3-2 in the first leg at the Camp Nou, despite a blunder by goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who tried to dribble the ball out of his own penalty area and let Angel di Maria slip into an empty net.
But Real Madrid go into the return leg hungry after a terrible start to the season, with one draw and two losses including a shock 2-1 defeat at derby rivals Getafe on Sunday that left coach Jose Mourinho fuming at his own team.
Asked if that would make Real Madrid more vulnerable or more dangerous as opponents at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, Vilanova had no doubts. "More dangerous, yes, yes. That's normal, the same would happen with us. 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," Vilanova said.
"But in themselves Madrid are already dangerous with the number of players they have, and in the 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," he went on.
Vilanova said he expected Madrid to apply the pressure from the starting whistle. "Madrid will come looking for us. They are team that in the first minutes at the Bernabeu pressure you, try to score quickly and come out like that because they need to score.
The coach did not give away his line-up, but said his latest recruit from Arsenal, Cameroonian Alex Song, could make an appearance. "He has only had a week. He has a few mechanisms to learn obviously. We will see if he gets a few minutes," Vilanova said, adding that the 24-year-old midfielder was adapting quickly.
Vilanova denied a win on Wednesday would stamp Barça's authority on the season versus Real Madrid. "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," he said.
"We all know Madrid will many games and points. It is too much to analyse with only two match days [in the Liga]."