When Mourinho arrived at Saint-Étienne to see Olympique Lyon, a gesture interpreted as early surrender, it was discovered that Barcelona is not immortal, that Madrid is still incumbent upon the league, that Sporting with the starters is better without them and that Preciado (Sporting coach) is not a friend of Guardiola as the Portuguese suspected. So Espanyol - Real Madrid has become important match because Madrid back again to see the Barça. Today may be five points behind leader. Is it about football that can take anyone by surprise.
In Real Madrid, Pepe goes back. Good news: "With him the team has better pressing, he creates more danger, recovers better... " said Mourinho. But Madrid will need more to stay alive. Kaka will be back on the bench. Benzema and Adebayor do not fit in the starter team. Emmanuel will win if Mou checks accounts. Togo player scores a goal per hour and has speed of sound in the game. Benzema scores a goal per 149 minutes and is one of the 13 affected by the FIFA virus, which leaves low energies.
Espanyol have won eight of their 10 home games in the championship this season and aspire to qualify to play in a European competition next year. Real Madrid were the first side to win an official game at Cornella-El Prat just over a year ago. The venue will be packed, but the Madridistas have proven to pull rank in the face of adversity. Mourinho has included the recently recovered Dudek on his squad list, as well as Sergio Ramos, who was suspended last week.
Espanyol are having a solid season and are currently comfortably placed in Europa League qualifying positions. Sergio Garcia and Joan Verdu have recovered from gastroenteritis in time for the game. Baena, who missed last week's game due to an injury, will also make it. But Espanyol will not be the best possible. Dídac and Victor departed for Italy (to make money) and Osvaldo, De la Peña and David Garcia are broken. The result; two consecutive defeats.
The duel comes after a summit about abuse and the dangers of football, to find out who was hitted more and with worse intentions. The discussion was between Cristiano and Messi, but Callejón (Espanyol striker) finished winning. Today the statistic will move little because the referee is Mateu Lahoz who sometimes swallows the whistle. That's going to Mourinho and not raise too many complaints in Pochettino. At least the day before.