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Ancelotti: “I have question marks with my Clásico XI, over whether to start Carvajal and Rodrygo”

The coach discussed the Clásico in his pre-Super Cup press conference. 

Real Madrid v Valencia - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Real Madrid face Barcelona in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday night and Carlo Ancelotti previewed that match on Tuesday. In his press conference, he said: “We feel good and we’re motivated to try to win this trophy, the first of the season. We’d like to bring it home. But, anything can happen in one match, we could win or lose it. We’ll have to play at our best. The opposition have had more problems than us this season, but it’s a one-off match and we both want to reach the final. Their veterans like Piqué, Busquets and Jordi Alba always contribute and stand out, while younger players like Gavi and Nico are showing they have a bright future. We like to play these kinds of matches. I think it’ll be even. It was even when we played in the league at the Camp Nou.”

Ahead of the first Clásico of the season, Ancelotti said he feels fear ahead of most matches. He was asked how he feels about this one and said: “All matches bring some fear. The Valencia one did too and this is the same. But, I would only be extra worried if my players believed that we were favourites, but they don’t.”

Discussing his team selection, Ancelotti admitted that he isn’t sure if Dani Carvajal should go straight back into the XI and if Marco Asensio should keep his spot. The coach said: “I have a few question marks in the line-up and Carvajal is one of them, since he just came back from an injury. The right wing is the other as we have fresher players like Rodrygo who could take Asensio’s place.”

Ancelotti on Xavi’s Barcelona

One of the questions saw Ancelotti asked if and how Barça have changed under Xavi. To that, the Italian responded: “They’re trying to follow their club’s identity. They had a good run of form when he arrived. I think with his ideas and attitude that they’ll improve under him.”

Ancelotti on Alaba’s adaptation

After Toni Kroos discussed David Alaba in his own press conference, Ancelotti was asked about the Austrian too and if the pair have reflected on how LaLiga Santander and the Bundesliga are different. He said: “No, we haven’t spoken about the differences between German and Spanish football. But, he has adapted well and I didn’t doubt that he would. He is doing very well in central defence and forming a very solid partnership with Éder Militão.”