|Real Madrid will have tonight an opportunity to end the crisis|
In terms of need for self-esteem, the five-point gap that has been opened with only two league games played has had the opposite effect in Barcelona. This double clash with Real Madrid was seen as a test to measure the ability of Tito Vilanova as heir of Pep Guardiola. The results of the first two league games have decreased the pressure over the Barcelona coach. The level of game of his team was good against the Real Sociedad and in the first leg against whites. In Pamplona, arbitration and Messi helped him push through a match which has granted him a good advantage to manage.
There is more need for victory in Madrid, beset by their poor start of the course and for all that ultimately means the rival with which to face tonight. In five games at the Santiago Bernabeu as coach of Real Madrid, Mourinho has never won (two draws and three defeats) against Barcelona. Unfinished business that the inacepatable match in Getafe, he said again yesterday, has relegated to second place in the head of the Portuguese coach: "I can lose the Super Cup and the match. For me the key is to know what players I have and what psychological profile they have, individually and collectively. That's all I care", he said. From his words it follows that the Portuguese coach will not measure skills but attitudes.
It remains to be seen whether that priority yesterday was explained by Mourinho matches with the goals of the Real Madrid supporters who digest with surprise that in just two league games their team has been distanced five points behind Barcelona and the rival comes with the possibility of holding a title in the Bernabeu, with what that implies in terms of pride. No team that has generated so many changes in the tactical board of Mourinho. No style that has turned his team so fearful and conservative.
A sector of Real Madrid fans still have not forgotten the ultra-defensive approach in the first leg of the semifinals of the Champions League two seasons ago. It was a hard blow for the white story. Bernabeu's crowd is not accustomed to forgive the defeat, neither the poor play nor lack of boldness.
Expected Starting Lineups:
Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Xabi Alonso, Khedira, Di Maria, Özil, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema.
Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Alba, Pique, Mascherano, Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Messi, Alexis, Pedro.