MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 25: The team of Real Madrid looks dejected after losing the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Real Madrid and Bayern Muenchen at Bernabeu Stadium on April 25, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Even though the fans seem to believe Real Madrid's season is over, the team still needs to get six points out of 12 in order to ensure the Liga title. Mourinho's team will try to start this mission well by beating Michel's Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabéu tomorrow at 12:00 CET.
The players need to recover soon from Wednesday's disappointing outcome. La Liga is now the only title remaining and the fans should not celebrate yet, although the seven-point margin seems definite. But Sevilla represent a tough challenge. They've had the time to prepare for this game and Real Madrid players must feel tired after playing 120 minutes (and losing) three days ago. Given all these circumstances, Mourinho might want to introduce some fresh legs like Granero, Callejón, Coentrao, Higuaín or Kaká.
Mourinho and his players have already showed their ability to come back from painful losses. After Barelona's win at the Santiago Bernabéu last December, the team beat Sevilla at the Sánchez Pizjuán by a great 2-6 and a truly astonishing performance by Cristiano Ronaldo and Di María.
Whether Guardiola and his Barcelona players will give it all they've got to win the remaining Liga games or not still remains to be seen. It's hard to believe they have a chance at the title, but if Madrid isn't capable of winning this game and Barcelona beats Rayo, Mourinho's side will then have a lot of pressure against Athletic Bilbao.
Real Madrid's magic number is six points. That means that the team could earn the 32nd Liga title even tomorrow if they're able to beat Sevilla and Rayo wins their game in Vallecas against Barcelona. This chance doesn't seem very likely though, so Mourinho needs to focus his players on winning game by game. If he thinks some players haven't recovered from the loss against Bayern yet, it's better to give the bench the chance to start.
Granero might replace Xabi Alonso or Khedira, with Higuaín getting his chance instead of Benzema as well. Callejón hasn't had many chances of starting this season, but when he has the chance to leave the bench, he has imfluenced the game in a positive way, like when he scored the game-winning goal in Mallorca. Kaká was terrible against Bayern, but Mourinho might want to give Özil some rest as well. Di María shouldn't be tired as he came back from his injury some weeks ago.
Sahin, Varane, Altintop and Carvalho are out of the list, so the only possible change remaining could be Coentrao instead of Marcelo. Sevilla's Jesús Navas is a big threat, and the Portuguese defender might be well suited to stop the Spanish winger.
When the game ends, Real Madrid will be only three games away from the end of the season. Mourinho will want his players to conclude the season in winning form--and with the Liga title in their pocket.
Who will win the game?
Real Madrid (144 votes)
Draw (6 votes)
Sevilla (5 votes)
155 total votes