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The number nine conundrum

Morata has a strong chance of making the starting eleven in the Riazor. Higuaín is the other option, and a player that Mou is going to need in top form for the clashes against Barcelona and Man Utd. Benzema is ruled out with a knee injury.

The number nine conundrum

The crunch week in Madrid's season, with games in the Camp Nou and Old Trafford, is fast approaching with ongoing doubts surrounding one of the key positions: the number nine. Neither Benzema nor Higuaín have been performing to their usual high standards, and to top it all off, the Frenchman was absent from training with a knee complaint. Between them they've scored 22 goals so far this season - 13 for Benzema and nine for Higuaín - but the stats tell their own story: this time last year they had netted 16 more times; hence the reason why Morata is now in the running. Mourinho is pleased with the youngster from the ranks, who has found the net twice in only 34 minutes played in La Liga (Barcelona's Alexis, for example, has only scored once), with both goals adding to Madrid's points tally: in Levante he made it 1-2 and in the home game against Rayo Vallecano he opened the scoring (the game ended 2-0). The Portuguese coach intends to use him more in the league and could give him more minutes on the pitch after he was substituted in the 26th minute after Ramos's red card forced Mou to change things around.

'El Pipita'. Besides the Madrid youngster, Mourinho also has Higuaín, who is looking to regain some form (he was made to train twice, along with Marcelo, on his days off) ahead of the upcoming clashes against Barça and Man Utd. The Argentinian has struggled to find consistency since he returned from injury at the beginning of the year. He was sent off against Sevilla in the 65th minute, forcing him to watch the game against Rayo in the stands. Furthermore, he only has one goal to his name in 2013 and will be looking to get some of his sharpness back. Today Mou will decide who will start against Deportivo La Coruña: 'Pipita' or Morata...

Estadísticas AS.com