Athletic Bilbao has made disastrous start to their La Liga season and Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti believes that the Basque’s could use this opportunity to come back strongly against Los Blancos.
Athletic Bilbao are struggling in the early parts of this season as they have won only one game in La Liga so far. Ernesto Velverde’s men have also lost both of their games in the Champions League and it seems that the club is struggling to remain competitive in two very demanding tournaments. But Ancelotti believes that Athletic Bilbao is a dangerous side and they have the ability to bounce back strongly.
“Athletic Bilbao is a team that fights for every ball, with a lot of character and quality. They haven’t got off to a good start, they had to prepare for the Champions League playoffs and then had injuries to important players, but we have approach them with caution. It could be just the game for them to bounce back,” Ancelotti said. He was speaking in a press conference ahead of tonight’s game.
Real Madrid defence has struggled against the set pieces in recent games and Ancelotti said that immediate improvement is required. “Of course we are concerned about it, and even more so against a Valverde side. We are working to correct it. Real Madrid isn’t the only team that concedes goals from set pieces. It happens to Barcelona as well. We are working on it. We have also scored a lot of goals from set pieces.”
Real Madrid are looking in a great shape at the moment as they have won five consecutive games and Ancelotti said that he is happy with the team dynamic. He said: “We are on a good run of results and playing well. It’s true that we have to be more compact in defence and look for more balance but we are very effective in attack. Initially we didn’t have a clear idea of how we wanted to play but I think now we have improved.”
Meanwhile, despite of his sides’ recent struggles, Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Velverde is optimistic and he said that he is going to Real Madrid to win the match. He said: “First we would like to take all three points and after that, compete and play well,” Velverde told a press conference.
“We would rather be beaten fighting and playing well. Barca beat us because they are a great side but at least we gave them a game. Last season I felt that Real Madrid beat us too easily. We don’t just want to give a good impression out on the field of play, we want to win – that is our priority.”