As the season enters its final stage, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has rallied his squad together in an attempt to navigate a particularly busy April schedule. 4 points behind Barcelona and ten games left to go, Real Madrid also face the daunting prospect of playing Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Speaking ahead of Real Madrida s fixture against Granada, Ancelotti welcomed back James Rodriguez who had been previously sidelined due to an injury. The manager also heralded the arrival of new signing Danilo who he believes will provide the squad with plenty of attacking options and healthy competition.
a James will start and he has a good condition. He has trained well. Danilo is a great right-back, one of the best in Europe. Carvajal and Arbeloa know that inner competition is important in every big club, they are focused and decided to do their best this season. This is about signing a player that will improve the squad.a
Real Madrid boss Ancelotti believes that the title race is far from over and thinks that his squad is in a good shape to mount a challenge on league leaders Barcelona. He revealed that the fans will have to play a part in the run up to the title race while claiming that Madrid cannot wait for Barcelona to drop points.
a We are sure that the race for La Liga is still open, we have to try to win every match. The team is excited about our chances and the players are fresh and ready. I think that we are better physically than last year at this point, we are confident.a
a The fans will help us if we play well, which is our main goal for this month because our match against Barcelona was good. We cannot be thinking about where Barcelona will drop points, our goal is to win every match left, and I believe we can do this just like it happened before winter.a
Speaking about players like Chicharito who have expressed their frustration at being left on the bench, Ancelotti seemed to rally his squad together as he promised his players plenty of opportunities as Real Madrid face a gruelling fixture.
a I understand Chicharito’s feelings, some players have not featured a lot recently like him, Illarra or Coentrao. But I need the whole roster now because we have to play a lot of matches and they will be used more.a
a I will try to make rotations because we have 9 games this month, so we will need to be careful with our condition.a
Speaking about Gareth Bale who has been in sublime form with Wales during the international break, Ancelotti praised his star winger and hoped that the FIFA outing helped the player regain his confidence.
a I think Bale’s last couple of matches have been good and he kept his good form with Wales. This FIFA break was good for some of our players to regain some confidence and good feelings.a
Ancelotti also provided an update regarding the starting line-up, stating that Isco and Pepe are unavailable for the fixture while Khedira and Carvajal are due to be rested. Hence in all likelihood, Modric, Kroos and James will accompany BBC in the attack with Arbeloa and Varane filling in for Carvajal and Pepe respectively.
a James is ready to start. I will give Khedira and Carvajal rest for tomorrow, and Isco is suspended. The rest of the players are available. Pepe has a small injury that will not make him miss the Champions League tie.a