Barcelona Vs. Real Madrid, 2012 Spanish Super Cup: Defensive Lineup For Los Blancos?

Real Madrid's most successful matches against Barcelona during the 2010-11 season came with Jose Mourinho picking a team with a very defensive-minded three-man midfield, but he mostly moved away from that strategy last season. He was out-managed at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first league Clasico, but got the better of Pep Guardiola at Camp Nou with an attack-minded lineup.

It's possible that Mourinho's selections had more to do with injuries than any preference, however. Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho and Nuri Sahin all missed significant time with injuries. Lassana Diarra and Sami Khedira both missed some games as well. Mourinho never had a great defensive midfield three to pick from last season.

According to Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid, Mourinho could revert to the 'trivot' on Thursday, then play for the win in the second leg at home.

Since Los Blancos have the advantage of playing the second leg at home, Jose Mourinho will most likely go with a more defensive line-up to try to take a favorable result back to Madrid. Given that Mesut Özil played the entire game on Sunday and seemed tired, he will most likely not start the game. Mourinho might instead start with a 4-3-3 formation to try to neutralize Barcelona's attack and bring Mesut Ozil on late in the game to get a crucial away goal.

Esteban Granero or Diarra could enter the lineup for Real Madrid if Özil sits out. This strategy has been effective in the past for Madrid, though their best performances while playing these tactics have come with Pepe as the defensive midfielder. Pepe is expected to sit out with an injury, and if he was fit, he would likely start at central defense anyway.

We'll have updates throughout the day and live coverage of the match in our Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, 2012 Spanish Super Cup StoryStream. For more on the Blaugrana, head over to FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes. For more on Los Blancos, check out Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid. For more from around the world of football, follow @SBNationSoccer on twitter.

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