Madrid, April 29: Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has promised changes to the team that will face Espanyol on Saturday in a match that could secure the league title this season for the club.
Ancelotti will rest some key players in the next match. A point against Espanyol would secure the title for Real Madrid with four games to go this season, but they need a win in the Champions League semi-final second leg at home to Manchester City on Wednesday after the side Spanish lost 4-3 in the first leg. .
Some of the changes are forced by injuries and suspensions, with David Alaba struggling to stay fit, while Nacho Fernández and Eder Militao are suspended.
That means Jesus Vallejo looks poised for a rare appearance, while Casemiro could drop back to defense to provide cover.
“We know we are close to winning the title. But we have to get the points because it is not over yet. We would like to get the points tomorrow and the team is focused on the game we have to play.” Ancelotti commented in his pre-match press conference.
“We have problems in defense, I don’t have Alaba, Nacho, or Militao and I have to put Vallejo, who has played very little, but has always been professional. I have to use a central defender, which could be Casemiro and in the middle, I have a fresh player, like [Eduardo] Camavinga or [Dani] Ceballos.” The coach also hinted that he might rest strikers Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr for the match, Xinhua reports.
“I also have to make decisions in attack. [Marco] Asensio is fresh and it remains to be seen if Karim Benzema is fully recovered. I am going to choose a team to win the match,” Ancelotti said.
“If a player is in good shape and has recovered well, he has to play, but if someone needs a break, then I will give him a break,” he added.
Finally, Ancelotti admitted that he had not thought about any celebration if he won the title and added that “we have only thought about the match”.