On paper, the Real Madrid faces this afternoon the last quiet match of the month. In none of the meetings are coming (all terrible: Tottenham, Bilbao, Tottenham, Barcelona, Barcelona in the Spanish Cup Final and Valencia) white team will enjoy the great theoretical advantage that today will accompany them; a stadium that does not fail and a modest opponent which will play without its star; Diego Castro. And do not doubt this absence is more important for Sporting than many and famous of the Real Madrid.
However, such obvious predictions contain a risk: the trust. It's easy for players of Real Madrid have assumed that this match is won and they think about the following. And it would not be a sin of pride, or not exactly, it would be a form of survival because, apart Mourinho, no one lives in constant battle stations.
More than a tragedy, Madrid casualties must be understood as a test. Marcelo, Cristiano and Benzema out for injuries and Xabi Alonso for penalty; Four key players as long as the essence of the team feeds on them. Ruled out their presence, Lass, Granero and Khedira assume the task of directing the aircraft carrier, with the invaluable help of Özil who today will be the highest authority (technical) on the grass.
Up front will be written another novel. Adebayor regains the starter position with the hounds snapping at his heels. If Benzema was ahead the last matches, now Higuain spurs him, back to a call after 124 days. His possible participation, with the back greased, is another great stimulus of the match.
In the evaluation of Sporting will not consider the old confrontation between Preciado and Mourinho. We bet that both, natural warriors, appreciate each other more after that. So, Barral will look for the goal with no wind that helps him. Without his fellow soldier, Diego Castro, he is only to the danger.
Sporting Gijon are especially motivated now that they are no longer in the relegation zone thanks to taking seven points out of a possible nine in the last few weeks. "Real Madrid is a team that motivates us", said coach Preciado earlier in the week. "We need the points and, thanks to international games and Champions League fixtures, Real Madrid are in a good situation for us to face them. The venue is also a motivating factor for us and our hopes are high".