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Carlo Ancelotti talks injury concerns, team preparation and squad selection ahead of Madrid derby




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Real Madrid go into matchday six of the 2023/2024 La Liga EA Sports season as the only Spanish top flight club to keep a 100% win record.

The 35-time Champions have undoubtedly been an impressive force to reckon with this campaign.

New signing Jude Bellingham has been the star man of the side. In the first five games of the season, he has scored in all but one.

Prior to facing city rivals Atletico Madrid on matchday six, head coach Carlo Ancelotti answered questions from the media.

Firstly, the Italian manager said ahead of the game: “The feelings are good. We are concerned about facing a rival with many resources. It’s a great game. Let’s hope to maintain the dynamics.”

The league’s August Player of the Month Jude Bellingham left training early on Friday morning, which the coach explained: “He found himself ill in a timely manner and has recovered well. He will be in the game.”

Player selection

“It’s hard to leave Kroos, Modric, Valverde, Tchouaméni, Camavinga on the bench… The reflection I made this week with them is that, when I make a change, the player comes out sad and the player who enters, is happy. I understand. I tell them not to be sad.”

On Vinicius Junior’s fitness

“Vini started training yesterday with the team. The injury is gone. He will be in the squad list. Carvajal will not. The rest are fine. Arda will be back on Monday.”

Risk of Vini traveling

“The risk is zero. If tomorrow we think there is a 1% risk, we are not going to risk him. The important thing is that Vinicius has recovered. He lacks a little condition, but it’s normal. These are things that we will evaluate tomorrow.”

On the Madrid derby

“I think the derby is a great opportunity. It is always special. They are the two teams in the capital, two teams with a lot of quality. It will be a very nice game to watch. I don’t Atléti’s defeat against Valencia will have an influence. Atléti played a good game against Lazio. Tomorrow is a different meeting.”

The goal of the game

“Our goal is not to win to get Atléti in trouble, but to try to win La Liga.”

Difference between the derby and other games.

“There are no differences. It’s a game that we like to prepare and be protagonists. There is special attention in these matches.”

Atmosphere expected after what happened with Vinicius last year

“I think something has changed since Valencia. I think that in the Metropolitano everything will be calmer, more serene and respectful.”

“How did I feel when I saw Bellingham leave training early on Friday? [Smiles] I started crying for three or four hours. [Laughs] If he hadn’t been available, I wouldn’t start crying. He will rest, I have others.”

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have a longstanding rivalry between them. In the past nine years, the two clubs have met twice in the Champions League final, with Los Blancos coming out victorious on both occasions.

Sunday’s clash will be one to keep an eye on, with Real Madrid looking to keep their 100% record going while Atleti would want to bounce back from a horrific 3-0 defeat at the hands of Valencia.

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