Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao meet in the final of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday at Camp Nou.
What was once a match between the previous season's La Liga and Copa del Rey winners has turned into a four-team event with the winner and runner-up of each competition included. Last season's Copa del Rey final still hasn't been played, with Basque rivals Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao due to meet on April 4, 2021, to settle the score that was postponed due to the pandemic.
Both qualified for the Super Cup nonetheless. Barcelona outlasted Real Sociedad in penalty kicks in the semifinals, while Athletic Bilbao edged Real Madrid to prevent a Clasico from taking over the final and setting up a rematch of the 2015, two-legged final won handily by Bilbao.
How to Watch:
Time: 3 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Dembele, Griezmann, Messi.
Athletic Club XI: Unai Simón; Capa, Yeray, I.Martinez, Balenziaga; De Marcos, Vencedor, Dani Garcia, Muniain; Raul Garcia, Williams.
With Barcelona coming off a trophy-less season, the final represents a chance to give Ronald Koeman his first taste of silverware since becoming manager. With the club's presidential election scheduled for next Sunday postponed due to the pandemic, much remains in flux, but lifting a trophy would be a positive step.
Athletic Bilbao, which recently turned the keys over to manager Marcelino Garcia Toral, won't just roll over, though. Raul Garcia's double handed Real Madrid a surprise defeat, and the club just gave Barcelona a scare, ultimately falling, 3-2, on Jan. 6 despite taking a third-minute lead.
Lionel Messi scored twice, and he'll play in the final after missing the semifinal with a minor injury concern.