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Barcelona's World Cup winners return for Supercup

Source : AP
Last Updated: Fri, Aug 20, 2010 11:29 hrs
Barcelona

Barcelona: Barcelona will count on its World Cup-winning core when it looks to overcome a 3-1 deficit to Sevilla in the return leg of the Spanish Supercup on Saturday.

The eight Barcelona players who helped Spain to World Cup victory last month were unavailable for the first leg, leaving an under-strength starting lineup playing at the Copa del Rey winner.

Saturday's game at Barcelona's Camp Nou could see David Villa make his debut for the Spanish champion after a euro40 million ($50 million) transfer from Valencia, as the Catalan club vies for a record ninth victory in the matchup between league and domestic cup winners.



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Coach Pep Guardiola still wasn't sure how the World Cup would affect his players.

"A lot depends on the desire of the players, too," Guardiola said. "We need to get our rhythm back little by little and if we can do it with a title, better."

Goalkeeper Victor Valdes, defenders Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, midfielders Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets and forward Pedro Rodriguez are all available alongside Villa after four players made their debut in the first leg, when Barcelona blew a 1-0 lead.

"We've all arrived in good physical shape, in optimal conditions," said Pique, who enjoyed a one-month break like his Spain teammates following the World Cup. "I personally feel better than I expected."

Barcelona has been relatively quiet in the summer transfer market with only Adriano joining from Sevilla. Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are also available.

"The team we have is very good for quality and quantity," Pique said. "We were just champions so the squad showed it has the capabilities."

Sevilla, meanwhile, is coming off a 1-0 defeat to Braga in the Champions League.

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But the Andalucian side can count on defender Sebastien Squillaci back after the Frenchman was kept out of the team for the European match in Portugal as the club weighs up a bid from Arsenal for the center back.

"They've got great potential and they're going to make us work," Sevilla coach Antonio Alvarez said. "It's a game we know we've got the lead and the control. We've got to try and play all the way through."

Barcelona and Real Madrid have won eight Supercups each, while Sevilla has won the trophy once, in 2007.







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