La Liga has always been Real Madrid's main target for the season. Now the team has the chance of keeping or even increasing the five-point margin against Barcelona, especially because Guardiola's team will play against Valencia in Copa del Rey semifinals.
Those two games might distract Barcelona, and considering they play in Villarreal tonight, Real Madrid needs to keep winning every possible game. Zaragoza ranks last in la Liga's table and Mourinho's team could use this game to give some starters a good rest because of the two hard-fought games against FC Barcelona.
In the first days of January, Jose Mourinho said that none of his players was going to play all the minutes of this month. Cristiano Ronaldo, Casillas and Xabi Alonso have not had any rest during January, so tonight's game might be a good chance for them to sit out. Even though Casillas doesn't need rest, Cristiano Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso could be replaced for Jose Callejón and Nuri Sahin.
The Spanish winger has been playing really well lately, but it is known that Jose Mourinho doesn't like to bench his star player. This might be one of those games when he could do so. Real Madrid is expected to have most of the possession and if the team is able to score early, then they could win by a great margin.
Xabi Alonso is not in great form this year, and this could be a good chance to play Nuri Sahin. The Turkish player has not been high in the team's rotation, and some Spanish journalists say the reason is that he is afraid of re-injuring himself. If confidence is what he needs, today would be a good game for the former Bundesliga's Best Player to get rid of his fears and worries.
Benzema and Mesut Özil should play because Zaragoza will try to maintain a very structured defensive line. Kaká shines when he has the space to counter attack, but it will be hard for the Brazilian player to do that against Zaragoza. Özil and Benzema have the ability to create spaces and good plays against those teams, and so does Marcelo.
The Brazilian left-fullback didn't play a single minute against Barcelona, so he should be ready and fresh to defend and contribute offensively as well.
Sergio Ramos will not play this game due to sanction, and Mourinho could use a Varane-Albiol defensive line. Pepe did a great effort against Barcelona and Zaragoza won't attack a lot, so that pair of center backs should be ready for this game.
Jose Mourinho doesn't like to change a team that much, but it could be very helpful as he needs all the players on the roster ready to play. Granero completed a good game against Barcelona and could have a chance tonight as well.
Real Madrid should clearly beat Zaragoza, but the starters will need to be ready to join the game in case they haven't scored before the 60th minute. The team needs to forget about the game in Barcelona and realize that these three points are what ultimately matter.
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