Speaking ahead of the El Clasico, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti revealed that Sergio Ramos would return to the starting eleven and will be accompanied with Dani Carvajal who was rested against Liverpool.
Real Madrid’s star defender Sergio Ramos suffered an injury earlier this month but Ancelotti confirmed that the Spaniard will be participating in the game against Barcelona.
“Pepe and Ramos have recovered well. I think they will play”, confirmed the Italian, indicating that Varane will likely to return to the bench on Saturday.
“We’ve decided the team. It will not change a lot from the team we deployed against Liverpool. Carvajal might come in, he’s rested.”
Ancelotti also brushed aside the hype revolving around Luis Suarez’s much anticipated debut and remarked that the Uruguayan will not change the game. Snapping up Suarez from Liverpool following the World Cup, the Uruguayan striker is expected to strike a lethal partnership with Messi and Neymar and the trio is considered to be one of the finest in Europe.
“If Suárez plays, that will not be a problem for us. I have the utmost respect for him, but the game will not change because of his presence.”
Gareth Bale’s absence will be hard to deal with Real Madrid especially considering the impact he made in the last El Clasico, scoring a late winner to win the Copa del Rey in the earlier season. However manager Ancelotti believes that Isco and James Rodriguez have improved and will be ready to make valuable contribution to the team on Saturday. Isco, who is usually relegated to the bench, has been gifted some important playing time due to Gareth Bale’s injury. He was brilliant for Real at Anfield and will be looking to impress Ancelotti on Saturday.
“Isco has always worked hard, he’s in a better condition now and he’s ready for tomorrow. I think he will perform well tomorrow. About James, we’re very happy with how he’s playing, he’s helping the side and I believe he will be important as well.”
Despite Neymar’s brilliant run of form recently, Ancelotti believes that Messi remains the man to watch out for. He asked his players to be defensively tight when out of possession and to not allow the Argentine any space to dictate the game. He also highlighted the importance of defending well in this game, indicating that a good defence will be the key to win this El Clasico.
“We need not to give Messi room. The midfield and the defensive line need to be tight when we don’t have the ball. Defending properly might be the key to win this game, there’s no other match around the world with such quality in defense, midfield and attacking lines.”
With Barcelona yet to concede a single goal in the league, it remains to be seen if Real can indeed defend well and keep the likes of Messi, Neymar and Suarez at bay.