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Ancelotti: “Hazard is in Real Madrid’s plans for 2022/23”

The coach spoke ahead of the Elche rematch.

Elche Cf V Real Madrid - Copa Del Rey Photo By Irina R.Hipolito/Europa Press via Getty Images

Real Madrid face Elche again on Sunday afternoon, after defeating the same team in extra time in the Copa del Rey on Thursday night. In his pre-match press conference, Carlo Ancelotti explained that he expects a similarly tough game. He said: “We struggled against this team on Thursday. They’re well-organised, so it will be difficult again.”

Discussing team news, he revealed that Dani Carvajal is still out with COVID-19, while Marco Asensio, Jesús Vallejo and Mariano are injured. The coach was also asked if this game could be a good opportunity for Eden Hazard to start. He replied to that: “Yes, it’s a good day. I hope it’ll be a good day.”

Ancelotti was then asked if Hazard is in his plans for 2022/23. To that, he was surprisingly up front and replied: “Yes, he is in our plans for next season.”

Ancelotti on Marcelo’s three-match ban

Discussing other matters, Ancelotti was asked for his thoughts on the fact that Marcelo has been suspended for three matches for his Copa del Rey red card. On that, the coach said: “For what he did, three matches is a lot. I don’t know what he told the referee, although I also don’t want to know. It’s a shame because Marcelo played well in that game. We’re losing an important player for these three games. He’ll miss those Copa del Rey matches, but remain important for us in LaLiga.”

Ancelotti on losing Real Madrid’s Brazilians

Real Madrid are about to lose their Brazilian stars for World Cup qualifiers. Even though Brazil are already qualified, the coach explained that the club won’t pressure the Brazilian FA in any way. He said: “We’re not going to pressure them at all. That’s also because we know that the players want to represent their country. They’ll go away to be with their national team and the Brazil coach will decide if they play or not.”

Ancelotti on replacing Casemiro

Discussing Casemiro and the lack of a natural replacement, the Italian said: “We’d be making a mistake if we look for a copy of Casemiro. Other players with different qualities can play in his position, like Camavinga. You just need to adapt. I’ve never had a holding midfielder like Casemiro.”

Ancelotti on Barcelona and Atlético’s problems

It was a tough week for Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, both eliminated from the Copa del Rey. Ancelotti was asked about them and said: “They’re two great clubs and it’s surprising that they’re having difficulties. They’re still tough opponents for us. They have enough quality to come out of these difficult situations.”