Barcelona Vs. Real Madrid, 2012 El Clasico: Kaka Could Be Introduced

Kaka has enjoyed a bit of a career resurgence this season, starting 16 times for Real Madrid in La Liga. He's sat out the last couple of games for Los Merengues as Mesut Özil has played in the No. 10 role Kaka prefers, while Jose Maria Callejon and Gonzalo Higuain also made starts ahead of the Brazilian playmaker.

His form has been solid enough that it seems unlikely that he fell out of favor with Jose Mourinho, so it's possible that he's been saving Kaka for El Clasico against Barcelona.

Mourinho has had some success with playing three deep central midfield players against Barcelona in the past, but he's without Lassana Diarra on Saturday. Additionally, he can't move Pepe up into the midfield because of the absence of Ricardo Carvalho. Though Kaka likes to play high up the pitch, he can play a deeper central midfield role and he's much more competent defensively than Özil. That's why Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid is expecting Kaka to make a start in the Clasico.

Kaka has been rested for the past two games now and has recently shown a lot of effort in chasing the ball. I expect Mourinho to start him in the middle of the field, pushing Özil to the right. Özil has shown to be more effective when he has not been marked by Sergio Busquets where as Kaka has the one on one skills required to get by the Catalan. In addition, Kaka has the passing and work ethic required to retain possession and track back. His tendency to run to the left wing also gives Ronaldo the option to run inside and gives the two an opportunity to double up on Dani Alves. Strengthening the attacking half of the left wing also means that Marcelo's inclusion is not necessary (although it would definitely help Ronaldo), giving Mourinho the chance to choose the more defensive Coentrao.

Real Madrid had some success attacking with their normal 4-2-3-1 setup in the first half of the last league Clasico, but they were figured out by Pep Guardiola and Barcelona in the second half as Özil struggled and was eventually subbed. This time around, Mourinho could (and probably should) have a different plan.

We'll have pre-game and live game coverage in our Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, 2012 El Clasico StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid and FC Barcelona blog Barca Blaugranes.

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