Jose Mourinho and his Real Madrid players are not expecting any miracles in La Liga. With 15 league games left, Barcelona are 16 points ahead and so Madrid have given up on retaining the title. All of their effort will now be concentrated on the Champions league and the Copa Del Rey.
With the visit of Manchester United to the Bernabeu on Wednesday firmly in mind, Mourinho has not included Xabi Alonso, Varane, Marcelo and Di Maria in the squad. These players are not really injured but have small niggles that Mourinho does not want to risk aggravating.
Two players returning to the squad are the Brazilian midfielder Kaka, and the Portuguese defender Pepe. Mourinho is hoping that Kaka takes his opportunity to impress, as he is still looking for a new club and regular football to be in contention for the Brazil team. Pepe is back from ankle surgery, and Mourinho is desperate for him to play on Wednesday. He will give the centre back some playing time against Sevilla this evening to gain some match sharpness.
Madrid will still have a strong team and will do their best to win in Seville, but the really important game comes on Wednesday. Manchester United play tomorrow, giving Madrid the small advantage of an extra day’s rest. They are also fighting hard for the English Premier league title, so their focus is split. Mourinho is the master of the Champions league, so let’s hope that his magic touch does not desert him.