Under Jose Mourinho, Real Madrid have enjoyed the best start ever to a La Liga campaign, still unbeaten in nineteen games in all competitions and currently leading the title race from rivals Barcelona who are just one point behind.
Ten victories and two draws in La Liga is pretty much what we have come to expect from Mourinho and this season Real Madrid have predictably tightened up their defence while still scoring for fun at the other end.
Xabi Alonso has noticeably taken on more responsibility in the anchor role and Brazilian full back Marcelo has become more disciplined, focusing more on his defensive play than his obvious attacking abilities.
Up front Cristiano Ronaldo has been given a more central role for Madrid and is in the form of his life, scoring fourteen goals in twelve games for the team, his focus is on getting into the box and scoring rather than spending time out on the wing.
There is little to choose between the two teams currently sitting comfortably atop of La Liga, Barcelona trail by just one point, having scored the same amount of goals (33) and conceded two more (8).
David Villa has settled into his striking role at Barcelona as well as expected managing 46 shots so far this season, twenty five on target and scoring six goals.
But no doubt all eyes will be on Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in tonight’s game, both players are on top of their game and this will hopefully be a game decided by a magical moment from one or the other of them.
Messi has continued his consistent goal scoring form throughout the season in both La Liga and Champions League, with 46 goals to his name between November 2009 and October 2010.
During that period Messi has scored a goal in every 81 minutes of play, followed closely by Ronaldo who has scored in every 91 minutes of play.
But it is easy to get carried away comparing the two current greatest footballers in the world and often in these games they are stifled by the opposing team which isn’t surprising when you consider the quality of players on show.
I have to go for Real Madrid tonight, only because of the tactical nous of Mourinho who knows how to get a result against Barcelona. Pep Guardiola is no slouch of course and will attempt to win the game by doing what Barca do best, playing sexy football and taking their chances.
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