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Lopetegui: “We’re only thinking about Athletic”

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FC Porto Training Session & Press Conference Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui did not want to reveal whether he will make rotations or not when his team face Athletic Bilbao this Saturday. Los Blancos will host Roma in their opening game of the 2018-19 Champions League season next Wednesday and some players might need to rest in order to stay fresh.

“The Roma match is coming up, but we’re only thinking about Athletic. You have to go in to games full of energy. We take in to account the circumstances that we’re in, but we’re look for the best way to win a very important game against Athletic,” said Lopetegui, who is rumored to be thinking about keeping Casemiro on the bench this Saturday.

“When there are international breaks we know what to expect. The players come back when they come back and we try to take advantage of the little time we have to focus on the league, which is the competition that we’re playing. We have a great match, nice, exciting and demanding in a fantastic stadium against an opponent that has been preparing for 15 days and waiting for us and we have to be ready for what awaits us to be able to come out on top,” added Real’s coach.

However, Lopetegui refused to say he has 11 starters and told the reporters that he trusts his whole roster.

“I’ve got 24 guaranteed starters in my squad, anyone could be a starter. We always look for the best options for each game. Obviously, as the games are played, there will be players who play more and others less. In my head I think that we have a balanced team prepared for a demanding season,” concluded the coach.