Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
10 May, 2011, 20:00 GMT
As the season for Real Madrid draws to a close, Mourinho is making extremely subtle experiments. In the last match, Mourinho tried to make changes in the personnel deployment inside a fixed system that he has now come to prefer.
If the match against Zaragoza involved discarding the wing play and trying to play through the centre, the match against Sevilla saw Real Madrid revert back to their wing play albeit with some minor differences.
Ozil was used as the inverted winger and Kaka started in the centre. Although Kaka played decently enough, he was the first player to be replaced and Adebayor was brought on in his place. But the more interesting of substitutions came when Raul Albiol came on for Alonso.
While Real Madrid will continue to experiment, the sheer quality of players at their disposal means that even with weird formations they will overcome their opponents most of the time.
On the other hand is Getafe, who are like a brother club for Real. They take in most promising of Real’s players and play them till they develop, and finally give them back to their mother club. However, right now Getafe are in big big trouble. They looked to be well on the course towards safety during the winter break. However, they shot themselves in the foot and right now they face a big struggle for survival. They have collected just 10 points from 15 games in this half of the season and thus they are just 1 point away from the drop zone. Michel really needs to get his men motivated as a drop would be catastrophic from their new owners’ point of view.
Team News and Tactical Brief
The transfer of Nuri Sahin has set tongues in motion with many speculating that Kaka’s time at Real is up. While both Kaka and Mourinho have displayed nothing but admiration for each other, it remains to be seen whether it translates into another year at Casa Blanca.
Both Angel Di Maria and Ricardo Carvalho are back from suspensions. Gago, Khedira and Kaka are out with injuries. Ramos is suspended for this match. Casillas and Dudek have been left out due to technical reasons.
Ronaldo is certain to play again and if there were any doubts about his motivation levels, they went up in smoke with his 4 goal haul last weekend. Madrid will want to upstage Barcelona by winning the “most important trophy” of Pichichi, as MARCA put it so eloquently last week.
The usual formation should be reverted, although it remains to be seen who will play as the inverted winger and attacking midfielder as Kaka is out.
Ozil has excelled in playing as an inverted winger and he brings a sense of calm by keeping hold of the ball and moving the ball forward by passing it to others. Di Maria, on the other hand, is more direct and tries to dribble his way out of trouble and rarely passes the ball forward unless he is almost at the byline. Once at the byline, he then crosses the ball.
Also upfront, the player starting will depend on the type of winger Mourinho chooses to employ. Di Maria’s style of play is more suited to Higuain and Adebayor, whereas Kaka and Ozil complement Benzema better. However with Kaka out due to injury, Mourinho might play Canales in his position with Ozil as the inverted winger and Di Maria might come in later if required.
A high likelihood is that Mourinho will persist with the formation that was deployed against Sevilla, with Canales as the playmaker.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1): Adan; Arbeloa, Carvalho, Pepe, Marcelo; Ronaldo, Alonso, Lass, Canales, Leon; Benzema.
Michel, a former Real Madrid idol tried to project a brave front by saying that his side will not sit back, but rather look for the ball. His side rarely score and when they do, they leak more goals at the other end to throw the game away.
On the team news front, Juan Albin and Manu del Moral seem unlikely to feature although they will be travelling with the squad. Jaime Gavilan and Rafa are out with injuries, reducing Getafe to a threadbare look.
Getafe are a lot better side than their current table position suggests. They have fair balance of flair and grit and should pose a difficult challenge for Mourinho’s men.
Karanka has already made it clear that Getafe should expect no favours from them as it would be disrespectful to the other teams.
Despite Michel’s proclamation, Getafe will be a little circumspect in the game and will employ a similar formation to Real’s to nullify any advantage which their opponents may otherwise have.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1): Ustari; M. Torres, Diaz, Marcano, Mane; V. Sanchez, Casquero; Pedro Rios, Parejo, Adri; Miku
TheHardTackle’s PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid): His quest for being the greatest player continues. He will look score at any cost and outrun Messi atleast to the Pichichi trophy. He looks like a man possessed and one can expect a few fireworks from the Portuguese juggernaut. Getafe can get a positive result only if they can manage to keep this man quiet.
Miku (Getafe): A huge responsibility falls on the shoulders of Miku as both Manu and Jaime Galivan might be missing. After the above two mentioned players, Miku has been the most vital player for “El Geta”. Real will need to keep a close eye on him so that he doesn’t cause any unwanted damage.
Real Madrid 3-0 Getafe
Although Getafe are in trouble and some conspiracy theorists might say that Real might be tempted to lend their “cousins” a helping hand, this is simply not an option for 1 man – Cristiano Ronaldo.