Gareth Bale's recovery couldn't have come in a better moment. The Welsh player will be available and ready to start in a match which is as difficult as it is important for Real Madrid. Los Blancos have tougher schedule ahead than FC Barcelona and would still need Messi and Co. to drop points even if Real manage to win every remaining fixture, so Saturday's match against Sevilla is a must-win for Ancelotti and his pupils.
No team has been able to beat Sevilla at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán over the last 38 games the Andalusian side have played at home, and again, Real Madrid can't afford to keep Sevilla's good home record alive if they want to have a shot at the Liga BBVA title. Furthermore, Carlo Ancelotti will need to find the balance between keeping his team fresh for the tough Champions League fixture against Juventus -- next Wednesday -- and deploying a quality team capable of getting the job done in such a difficult and tense atmosphere as Sevilla's stadium.
Nico Pareja will not be available for Sevilla. He has been a key defender in Emery's system and will miss the rest of the season, so Ancelotti and his strikers will surely be hoping to take advantage of his absence. Bad news for Carlo Ancelotti is that Karim Benzema is out of this match as well as he aims to recover in time for Juventus. Chicharito Hernández will try keep the good momentum he built during Real Madrid's last three games -- he has scored three goals in that period --. Luka Modric will not only miss this game but also probably the Champions League Semifinals.
Carvajal and Ramos both return after their suspension, and both are expected to start. Meanwhile, Ancelotti will have to choose between Pepe and Varane for one spot in the center of his defensive line. Varane has been brilliant lately, especially against Atlético de Madrid in the Champions League Quarterfinals, so he might have the edge over Pepe until the end of the season. Still, Ancelotti has always been fairly conservative with his lineups and he seems to trust the Pepe-Ramos partnership quite a lot, so it's hard to predict his choice.
The Italian coach will also have to make a call about the midfielder spot alongside Toni Kroos. With Bale back in the squad, Ancelotti could use the Kroos-James-Isco midfield once again -- Bale, Ronaldo and Chicharito would be upfront --, but that midfield could be a bit too light to match up against Sevilla's intensity, so players like Illarramendi or Lucas Silva should also be considered because of their discipline and physical presence in the midfield.
No matter who he decides to go with, Ancelotti and his players will be expected to deliver. Dropping points against Sevilla could be considered a failure given that it would end Real's title run, so the Italian coach will have to be very careful with his gameplan to prevent Sevilla from dominating the game.
After all, the Andalusian side were able to overcome a 0-2 deficit to earn a good draw against FC Barcelona a few weeks back, so they know how to stay in the game even being a few goals behind. They are definitely a strong team at home.