So, madridistas, here we are, about to see los blancos play in their first game of 2011-2012--and it's against ex-madridista David Beckham and American international Landon Donovan (among others). While the game is a friendly, it won't be a totally ridiculous laughingstock. (You know what is a totally ridiculous laughingstock? This picture of David and Victoria Beckham, circa 2003, and this interview they did with Ali-G).
In fact, while we won't get an exact replica of how Mourinho's 2011-2012 Real Madrid will play, we will get hints, tidbits. Here are some important things to watch for heading into the match:
- Where in the world is Fabio Coentrão? Mourinho has had him playing everywhere from left back to right back to center defensive mid in practice. Where he plays--and plays best, because he might switch positions--should give us an eye into Mou's tactical mind.
- 4-3-3? 4-2-3-1? 4-3-2-1? So many numbers! In all seriousness, it should be interesting to see which formations los blancos try out tonight: they've played around with a number of different ones in practice, and tonight's game should give us an indication of where Mou is leaning.
- CANTERA! Which one of the not-expected-to-be-on-the-roster players currently with the squad will step it up? This will be the canterano's first chance to impress Mourinho with their integration into the first team, and a good performance should go a long way.
- The Departed. Here's a list of starters (and potential starters) that we will not see tonight: Gonzalo Higuaín (who is...was...playing for Argentina in the Copa América--he scored their only goal in their loss to Uruguay), Ángel di María (see above, minus the goal), Nuri Sahin (injury), Hamit Altintop (injury), and, less importantly, Fernando Gago (Argentina).
Enjoy the match, and HALA MADRID!