Real Madrid will hope to maintain their incredible run of form as they take on Sevilla in gameweek 32 of La Liga tomorrow night.
The team, despite playing 120 minutes of football against Chelsea, will be ready for the game given they are a foot and a half away from the title.
Ahead of the mouthwatering clash, Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media as part of his routine pre-game press conference, answering all questions and concerns. We at Madrid Universal follow the presser in this thread.
On the players: “The players are fine after the Chelsea game, we have had time to recover well.”
“We are ready to face Sevilla, both mentally and physically. The players feel weel, they are ready.”
On Luka Modric’s contract: “Modric will finish his career at Real Madrid, this is the idea of the club and Luka. He will not have problems to renew his contract.”
“I coached a football legend, Paolo Maldini, who won the Champions League at 40. I have to compare Luka to him: for the quality, seriousness, how he understands football. They are both legends.”
“Modric takes great care of himself, he has not had any major injuries in his career and that helps him a lot.”
On Eden Hazard: “Hazard is fine. He removed the plate in his ankle because he had pain and infections. Now he has time to recover.”
On Antonio Cassano’s comments about Madrid: “We all know Cassano. I don’t have anything to say.”
On Vinicius Tobas: “He’s learning, he’s young and I think he has a lot of quality.”
On Ferland Mendy and Marcelo: “Mendy and Marcelo will not play tomorrow. But their problems are not serious.”
On Toni Kroos’ reaction to being subbed vs Chelsea: “It happens. I do not have to talk about it. I know him very well, and I have no problems with him.”
“He was not angry at Carlo Ancelotti, he was angry at the coach. His reaction is normal, it does not bother me.”
On Eder Militao: “Militao has surprised me a lot. I did not know him well as a player. He is a top player, very strong. He can improve in some aspects, like the reading of the game but he’s having an amazing season.”
On La Liga: “La Liga is not over. All the world is waiting for us to drop points, but we will compete until the end.“
On Atletico Madrid: “Atletico’s defence against Manchester City was very, very, very good. They could do more with the ball, yes, but they defended incredibly well.”
On Eduardo Camavinga: “Camavinga brings a lot of energy to the midfield and we saw what he does. He’s been key against PSG and Chelsea.”
On Madrid’s style: “What does it mean, ‘playing well’? In my opinion, playing well means doing good with and without the ball. Football is attacking and defending, both are equally important.”
“I don’t care if people say we don’t play well. We are competing for titles. We want to win.”
On Xavi’s comments about Barcelona being the most difficult job: “Any team is difficult, some are asked for titles, others just to play well, and others to avoid relegation. Every job is difficult.”
Source: Real Madrid Twitter
Bellingham, Brahim start in a 4-4-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Granada
Having reclaimed the top spot in the La Liga table last weekend, Real Madrid will be eager to consolidate their position when they host Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
Real Madrid are currently on a four-game winning streak across all competitions, having beaten SC Braga, Valencia, Cadiz, and more recently Napoli.
Despite the spate of injuries affecting the squad, Carlo Ancelotti & co. have found a way to keep the winning momentum going and will be eager to bag another victory at home tomorrow.
Granada, meanwhile, find themselves at the opposite end of the table, but there could be a case of the new-manager bounce, for they recently replaced Paco Lopez with Alexander Medina as their head coach.
Real Madrid go into the game without Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, Arda Guler, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Luka Modric, and Vinicius Jr., all of whom are injured.
Here’s how Ancelotti could set his team up at the Santiago Bernabeu when they take on Granada tomorrow.
Kepa Arrizabalaga is fit again and has been included in the Real Madrid squad list to face Granada after missing the last four matches. However, Andriy Lunin will again be preferred in goal tomorrow, as was confirmed by manager Ancelotti during his presser.
Ancelotti has a decision to make his team selection as tomorrow’s game could be a good chance for him to rotate. At the same time, with no midweek fixture coming up, the Italian could be tempted to stick with his strongest XI.
As such, the Real Madrid manager could continue with the centre-back pairing of Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba, while Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy should take up the full-back positions on the right and left sides, respectively.
Since the injuries to Camavinga and Tchouameni, Toni Kroos has operated in the pivot midfield position, albeit with support from Federico Valverde. Meanwhile, Dani Ceballos will get another starting opportunity in the injury-enforced absence of Modric.
Jude Bellingham is fit and ready to play despite an injury scare during training earlier today. The 20-year-old Englishman will start in his usual role as the attacking midfielder and pose a threat to the opposition backline.
Ancelotti opted to partner Brahim Diaz with Rodrygo Goes in the attacking department against Napoli earlier this week. Given how the two performed, the manager is unlikely to tinker with the pairing.
Real Madrid Predicted Lineup: Lunin, Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy, Kroos, Valverde, Ceballos, Bellingham, Brahim, Rodrygo.
Carlo Ancelotti will turn to Joselu to reinforce the attacking department during the game, while young Nico Paz is likely to get more minutes again after scoring his first senior goal for Real Madrid against Napoli.
Captain Nacho Fernandez is likely to come onto the pitch to provide some relief to one of the two centre-backs during the latter stages of the contest. Fran Garcia could replace Ferland Mendy.
Young forward Gonzalo Garcia is another academy talent who could be in for some minutes on Saturday.