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Mourinho looks for 100th win at home to Zaragoza

932   //    02 Nov 2012, 19:29 IST

Madrid - Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho sees one of the major selection problems for his side resolved ahead of Saturday’s Primera Liga game at home to Zaragoza, a game where he could claim his 100th victory at the helm of the Spanish football club.

Alvaro Arbeloa has recovered from the muscle injury he suffered in the middle of October and will be able to return at left back for the vital Primera Liga tie, reports Xinhua.

Arbeloa’s return will end the controversy, which Mourinho helped stoke with criticism of Madrid B-Team coach Alberto Toril about who should cover for the injured trio of Arbeloa, Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao in recent games.

Mourinho opted to use Michael Essien, a midfielder, arguing that B-team defender Nacho Fernandez was playing as a central defender for Madrid’s reserves and not therefore able to play at left back for the first team.

The good news is that Arbeloa’s return will allow Essien to return to his best role on the pitch at a moment when he is needed there.

Sami Khedira is still struggling with a muscle injury, while Xabi Alonso is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season during the 5-0 win away to Mallorca last Sunday.

That means Essien will step into the middle of the park, where he will be partnered by Luka Modric or Kaka.

Mourinho did play several B-team players during his side’s 4-1 Copa del Rey win away to third tier Alcoyano in midweek and also saw Karim Benzema scoreing two goals.

Benzema will have to be content with a place on the bench against Zaragoza as Gonzalo Higuain has also been in good form and has netted seven goals this season. Higuain will get the nod against a Zaragoza side that has won its last two matches and sits comfortable in the middle of the table.

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