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Ancelotti talks Kepa, Lunin, Camavinga, Vinicius, Fati, Modric ahead of Real Madrid vs Almeria

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Andriy Lunin will start ahead of new signing Kepa Arrizabalaga in the away game against Almeria on Saturday, August 19.

Speaking during media duties a day before the game, the main man reflected, “We have seen them [Almeria] play against Rayo. It is a well-organized team, they did not deserve to lose,” he said. 

“It’s going to be an entertaining match because they want to play, they don’t lock themselves in the back. We must repeat the match in Bilbao.”

The manager added that while Kepa is adjusting well at Real Madrid, Lunin will take the starting spot tomorrow.

“He is adjusting very well. He has shown a lot of personality and quality, but tomorrow we continue with Lunin. Then we’ll see,” Ancelotti confirmed.

At the same time, the manager assured that there will not be heavy rotation between the two stoppers this season. 

“The truth is that Kepa already has a very high level. He has a lot of experience at the international level and this is lacking in Lunin. We are not going to do many rotations.”

Eduardo Camavinga was understandably the biggest absence from Real’s recent training and while explaining the unavailability of the midfielder, the manager said:

“He had an overload. Tomorrow we will evaluate him, he will be in the squad list. If the overload disappears, he will play.”

Furthermore, the manager also explained what the midfielder, who recently made his 100th appearance for the club, needs to work on, saying:

“We are trying to get him to reach the goal more. He needs to reach the rival goal with more danger. Then he had more difficulty getting closer to the goal.”

Real Madrid were hit by two potential season-ending injuries to Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao and Ancelotti confirmed that there was, in fact, no sign of that in the training.

“It is very difficult to know why this happens. Many things have to be evaluated. Miltao was very good at the strength level. Courtois, same thing. We had no alarm in this regard. It has been bad luck.”

While Kepa has come in to replace Courtois, Ancelotti confirmed that they have enough options to deal with Militao’s absence, with youngster Marvel being highlighted as an alternative.

“We are well covered. We have many players with a lot of experience. We have Marvel, we will turn to the youth team,” he said.

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr was left out of the top 10 nominees for the UEFA Player of the Year award and the manager said that he and the player are not particularly bothered about it. 

“For me, Vinicius is one of the best, if not the best player in the world. There is nothing that surprises me (that he is not selected among the three finalists).

“I have no idea why [he was left out]. I don’t care much, everyone knows what Vinicius has contributed these last three years at Real Madrid. 

“He has been the player who has made the most difference, the one who has had the greatest projection. It’s not that important,” he added.

The manager also shared his opinion on the Saudi league, saying, “Arabia is putting a lot of money to improve their league. They have the right to do it, within the rules of the Financial Fair Play. If they can do it, it means that it works.”

The manager confirmed that the likes of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are ready to play, saying: “They are both very well. They have trained like the others, the luck of having a week to prepare for a game is fantastic. They are ready to play.”

There have been speculations about the future of Barcelona youngster Ansu Fati of late and some pundits have urged Real Madrid to consider signing him. Responding to questions about that, Ancelotti said:

“He is a young man who is very talented and who is going to have a great future. That’s all.”

Ancelotti also touched upon the overpiling of fixtures and criticised the governing bodies for not prioritising the health of players, saying:

“How not to agree with what Guardiola has said. They try to improve the quality of the show by putting more quantity. The players and coaches don’t have a say in anything. They want to put in more money to earn more money. This is the problem.”

“The most affected are the players, who suffer more injuries and cannot contribute everything they have. I don’t know when this is going to change.”

On La Liga’s plans for having a camera in the dressing room before a game and during half-time, Ancelotti said: “For me, the locker room is sacred. It doesn’t make sense for me to have a camera during a game.”

Source: Real Madrid/Twitter

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Las Palmas

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Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Real Madrid will be looking to return to winning ways as they get set to take on UD Las Palmas in a couple of hours at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Following the derby debacle against Atletico de Madrid last weekend, it is imperative for Los Merengues to bounce back strongly tonight.

With kick-off not very long away, Carlo Ancelotti has announced the starting lineup that will be stepping onto the pitch to face Las Palmas.

Ancelotti has changed things a fair bit from the derby defeat, with both Luka Modric and Toni Kroos dropping to the bench.

But the biggest surprise is that Jude Bellingham has also been rested by the Real Madrid boss.

Instead, Real Madrid go in with the quartet of Aurelien Tchouameni, Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga, and Brahim Diaz in their diamond midfield setup. The latter makes his first start for Real Madrid this season.

Up top, Joselu returns to the starting lineup, pairing up alongside Rodrygo Goes while Vinicius Jr remains on the bench, having only recently returned from an injury.

At the back, club captain Nacho Fernandez starts his first game of the season at the expense of Lucas Vazquez at right-back. Ferland Mendy also gets a look-in at left-back while David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger make up the rearguard that will shield Kepa Arrizabalaga.

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