Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has admitted his surprise at Real Madrid’s poor start to the season but does not believe the result of tonight’s Spanish Supercopa between the two clubs will have any long-term effect on their battle for the Primera Division title.
Madrid head into the second leg at the Bernabeu still searching for their first victory of the campaign after three matches.
In La Liga they are already five points behind Barca after being held at home by Valencia before losing 2-1 at local rivals Getafe on Sunday, while last Thursday they were beaten 3-2 by the Catalans in the first leg of the Supercopa at the Nou Camp.
That is hardly the start Jose Mourinho would have been looking for and another setback against Barca tonight would be a bitter pill to swallow for the capital club, who deposed their arch-rivals as Spanish champions last season.
However, Pique does not believe a Barca triumph tonight will strike a terminal blow to Madrid’s title defence.
“It’s surprising that Madrid have lost five points in two games. They’d been unbeaten in the league since December, but Madrid are Madrid, one of the biggest clubs in the world, and they could put together a 30-match winning streak,” he said.
“I don’t think that the result [tonight] will have any influence on the league. Whoever wins the league is the most consistent over 38 games, not the two that we’ve played up until now. No matter how many points there are between us now, the season is very long.”
Madrid have been boosted by the arrival of Croatia playmaker Luka Modric, who completed his move to Spain from Tottenham in a deal reportedly worth £33 million on Monday.
Modric trained with his new team-mates on Monday night but it remains to be seen if he will be involved against Barca having had a lack of competitive action over the last few months.
Barca, who are looking to win their fourth successive Spanish Supercopa, could still be led into action by captain Carles Puyol despite the defender suffering a fractured cheekbone in Sunday’s comeback win over Osasuna.
Mourinho will also need to decide whether or not to throw Modric straight into action.
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