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Ancelotti: “I think Valverde and Kroos will be back for the PSG game”

The coach previewed Saturday’s game vs Real Sociedad.

Rayo Vallecano v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media on Friday lunchtime, discussing the Real Sociedad match on Saturday night and also looking ahead to the PSG second leg on Wednesday. The Italian wanted to focus on this weekend’s league game, but was asked several questions in the press conference about the upcoming Champions League second leg.

The coach insisted that he is only focusing right now on Real Sociedad, stating: “We’ve made the most of this week to improve the conditioning of the team and we’ll be ready for the rest of the season. The plan right now is for Real Sociedad. Then, we’ll have a plan for PSG. I won’t put out a line-up thinking about PSG. Our final is tomorrow. I’ll put out my best team tomorrow.”

Discussing the club’s physical state, Ancelotti defended his rotation policy this season and pointed out that Real Madrid actually have few injuries right now. Fede Valverde is out with sickness and Toni Kroos has a minor injury, but that’s it. As Ancelotti said: “Kroos was rested recently in the match against Alavés, so his injury wasn’t because of a lack of rotation. It was bad luck. Right now, we don’t have many injuries and to have so few injuries at this point in the season means we’ve managed the physical condition of the players well. I’ve not done things perfectly, but I’ve managed the squad better than some say. Alaba was only out for a week and is back and has been training well, so he’ll play tomorrow without any doubts. Then, Valverde and Kroos will be out for this weekend’s game, but Valverde won’t have any problem for the next [the PSG game] and I think Kroos neither. It was a small problem. I should have almost all my squad available for that game.”

Ancelotti on Camavinga’s position

The coach was also asked about Eduardo Camavinga and his position. On the Frenchman’s progress, the coach said: “He is doing well and he is motivated. He has struggled a little bit more as a pivot because that’s a very important position tactically and for positioning. Maybe I forced him into playing there a little. He is an option for tomorrow’s game.”

Ancelotti on LaLiga being more competitive than during his first spell

It was put to Ancelotti that it’s easier to win LaLiga Santander now than when he was there between 2013 and 2015, but the Italian dismissed that notion and explained that the lower winning points totals of recent seasons actually show that the other Spanish clubs have improved. He stated: “You can view it in two ways. Maybe the big teams’ level has dropped off or maybe the other teams have improved. I think it’s the latter, that we have a more competitive league now. There is good football with well-organised teams and smart coaches. So, I think the Spanish league has improved.”