It's a rare occasion in this sport where a league game will draw more attention than the round of 16 in the Champions League, but that's what the current scenario is when it comes to Real Madrid and manager Carlo Ancelotti. The boss sat down with the press one day before RM's second leg against Schalke 04 but the majority of the focus in the room was on the Clasico set to be played this Sunday at the Bernabeu.
Expect changes tomorrow, potentially as many as seven bench players being tabbed as starters.
"We're going to make some changes, because we've had a game that was physically tiring. We've travelled and we haven't had much time to recover. To give everyone a good chance of recovery, we will have to make some changes. There are tired players and so we will make changes tomorrow."
Everyone is waiting with baited breath to see if Karim Benzema will be able to suit up against Barca as the 4-3-3 is just not nearly as effective without him. However, we can safely rule him out against Schalke.
"He won't be playing tomorrow, but we're confident that he may play on Sunday.He's very important. Not only because he scores goals, but also for his play. We'll have to see how he responds from tomorrow. If he can't make it for the game though, we'll have to replace him."
Who should we expect to lead the front line tomorrow?
"Jesé will start. I can say that the three forwards will be Morata, Jesé and Cristiano. Jesé is quite lucky... I didn't give my first Champions League press conference until I was 30, he's here doing it at 21."
And while Isco didn't have a good game against former club Malaga, Carlo still has confidence in his abilities and potential.
"I think he'll be playing tomorrow. He has to get used to playing in this position, which is a little different for him. I'm very confident he can play there."
The tie against Schalke 04 is, for all intents and purposes, over, but Carlo still feels that it's important for the players to give it their all with the proper mindset of a winner so that it carries over to Sunday's big game.
"We have to play a good game, it's an important game in the Champions League and we should maintain the good form of the team, because I think it's the best way to prepare. Having a good game will give us more confidence. We have to respect our work, the competition and the opposing team."
Carlo's thoughts on the remaining competitions and the potential season-decider this coming Sunday?
"At the moment, I think we have a small advantage in La Liga, that we don't have in either the Copa del Rey or the Champions League... I've always thought that Barcelona are a very strong team. Everyone thinks that. Maybe they've had some problems, but they've sorted things out very well. The game on Sunday will be very even."
A random question about Carlo's future popped up and whether or not his future at Real Madrid is linked to him winning any trophies this season, a question at which Carlo had a chuckle at.
"It's difficult to respond to such a question. I'm doing the best I can, I'm happy to be here. I think that all managers depend on results. That's normal in modern football."
Lastly, Carlo's thoughts on this squad and how they compare to some of the fantastic ones he's managed in the past.
"It's difficult to make any comparisons, because I've managed squads with lots of quality, but this squad has a bit of everything. There's experience, youth, character, personality. In that sense, it could be the most complete squad I've managed."
Jese's thoughts on tomorrow's game, his role in the team, his progression throughout the season and the comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo:
"I have a secondary role, maybe but I have to take advantage of chances when they come. If they had told me that my first year with Madrid's first team would be like this, I would have taken it. If you have personality you have to show it, especially in some moments... Ronaldo is a great example for me, of course. But we are different types of players."
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