Real Madrid News
Ancelotti talks Benzema, Modric, Tchouameni, UCL ahead of Liverpool vs Real Madrid
Real Madrid have been drawn up against none other than Liverpool in the Champions League round of 16, which is, of course, a replay of last season’s final.
Madrid came off better of the two sides thanks to a goal from Vinicius Jr, and a stunning performance from Thibaut Courtois. However, coming into the game tomorrow, both teams are in a mixed place.
Los Blancos are sitting second in La Liga, eight points behind Barcelona, while Liverpool are eighth in the Premier League.
Ahead of this monumental clash, Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media as part of his pre-game press conference, quotes from which have been relayed in this thread by Madrid Universal.
On the UCL: “We cannot wait to play in the Champions League again.”
On Karim Benzema: “Benzema is fine and will start tomorrow.”
On the UCL final last season: “The final in Paris was an equal game. Maybe they had more possession but tomorrow will be a different game.”
On Luka Modric: “Modric has already shown he deserves a contract renewal. He’s amazing.”
“Modric had a hard time in January. He was not feeling well but now he’s back. His physical condition is great. I’m convinced you will see the best Luka again.”
On Aurelien Tchouameni: “I’m thinking about the XI. I don’t know if it will be four midfielders or three and Rodrygo.”
On Liverpool’s marquee player: “I can’t tell you any particular player like Salah or van Dijk. We will be focused on the whole Liverpool team.”
Source: Real Madrid TV
Real Madrid News
Rival watch: Barcelona midfielder essentially ruled out of Real Madrid clash
In what could be a real deal breaker for Real Madrid ahead of their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg clash against Barcelona, it has been revealed that as many as three Barça will be absent from the game while another key player remains a major doubt.
The list includes the likes of Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Andreas Christensen. The trio is certain to miss the game through respective injuries while a certain Frenkie de Jong is more or less ruled out, as per Javi Miguel.
It must be remembered that Barcelona are heading into the second leg with a 1-0 advantage. But the absence of the aforementioned players means Madrid can work on exploiting the frailties.
Despite the absence of such big names, Barcelona did pretty well against Elche in their previous outing, coming out 4-0 victorious, with the goals coming from Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres.
With options lacking in midfield, Xavi decided to use the likes of Sergi Roberto and Eric Garcia along with Gavi in the heart of the lineup. In any way, they do have Sergio Busquets and Franck Kessie as backups if needed.
The defence, on the other hand, was perfectly guarded by Jordi Alba, Marcos Alonso, Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde.
One can expect Xavi to once again interchange Araujo with Kounde on the right since the Uruguayan has been rather successful in minimizing the threat of Vinicius Jr.
As far as Madrid are concerned, they are sweating over the fitness of three key defenders, namely, Antonio Rudiger, Nacho, and Ferland Mendy. Between these three, the Frenchman is out for about a month while Rudiger and Nacho are expected to be back before the Clasico.
If there are no casualties against Real Valladolid, Madrid will have a perfect midfield and attack, with only Mariano Diaz missing.