MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 18: Angel di Maria (L) of Real Madrid celebrates with Raphael Varane after scoring Real's third goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Real Racing Club at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 18, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Greetings from the land of sand. This is the weekly segment here on Managing Madrid where I walk around my international campus and ask random people of different backgrounds and football loyalties questions about the footballing world and Real Madrid.
Angel Di Maria picked up a muscle bruise last night against Racing Santander, which will rule him out of Real Madrid's Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow this Tuesday. Di Maria has become a major part of the Real Madrid offense, and with this recent tendency toward injury, the situation is worrisome. Luckily, Mourinho has a few different options he can employ come Tuesday night.
The question for this week: How much will Di Maria's absence affect Real Madrid's performance against CSKA Moscow in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16?
"It won't affect them at all. Kaka is currently in form, and he'll be a great replacement. Both Ozil and Kaka have said before that they love playing with each other and that Kaka brings the best out of Ozil and vice versa. Madrid will line up 4-2-3-1 with Ozil switching to the right flank and Kaka playing down the middle with Ronaldo on the left as usual. Benzema will play up front, and Madrid will win by a margin of 4-5 goals. Looking at this Madrid team, how can they ever lose?"
-Raghid, Lebanon, Chelsea
"[His absence] will slow down the team's overall pace a bit, but Ozil has played there countless times."
-Phillip, Lebanon, AC Milan
"It won't affect anything. He played amazing a few nights ago and scored an amazing goal. Also we have other midfielders such as Ozil, Kaka, Granero and Xabi Alonso who can pick up for any weaknesses."
-Abe, Lebanon, Real Madrid
"It won't affect [them] at all. Too many stars in Real Madrid. One missing against an average team won't make a difference."
-Samuel, India, Liverpool
"The team can still pull of a victory [...] but Di Maria is a very important and fast player that would add to Madrid's game but they can do just fine without him."
-Omar, Egypt, Real Madrid
You can watch the outcome this Tuesday at 18:00 CET. Join us here on Managing Madrid for coverage of the match and a live thread.
So how much do you think Di Maria's absence will affect Real Madrid's performance against CSKA Moscow?
Huge affect! Di Maria is such an important player! (26 votes)
A little affect. The team is going to miss him but not a big issue. (92 votes)
Not at all. We have plenty of players that can fill in. (82 votes)
Other (I'll explain in the comments) (0 votes)
200 total votes