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Ancelotti: “We have dedicated zero hours to the Liverpool game, we’re only planning for Osasuna”

The coach previewed this weekend’s LaLiga match.

Real Madrid v Al Hilal: Final - FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2022 Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid have a huge game coming up next Tuesday, as they’ll visit Anfield to take on Liverpool. But, first up is Osasuna in LaLiga Santander on Saturday night and Carlo Ancelotti previewed that game in his Friday press conference, stating: “We have to have commitment and a good attitude for this game. This is an important moment in the season. We’re in good form and have to keep that up. We won’t have Benzema for tomorrow’s game, as he has fatigue and we wanted to make sure he recovers well for Tuesday’s game. Kroos still has a flu and is out. We do get Hazard and Courtois back. And, Modrić and Rodrygo are both going to start tomorrow.”

Ancelotti on Benzema’s physical condition

Discussing Benzema in further depth, the coach stated: “He has done well since the World Cup, scoring in almost every match. The fact he isn’t there tomorrow doesn’t mean he is injured. It’s just that, because of his age, we want to give him rest because he is fatigued. If we played Liverpool tomorrow, we’d also have to rest him because he really is fatigued and we can’t take risks with that. The truth is that many players are tired at this point in the season.”

Ancelotti on planning for Liverpool

Asked just how much Real Madrid are thinking about the Liverpool first leg, Ancelotti insisted that they aren’t. He said: “We have dedicated zero hours to the Liverpool game so far, because they’re also a team that we know well. Right now, we’re planning 24/7 for Osasuna, which is an important match. I’m not thinking about Tuesday’s game when I make my line-up choice for tomorrow. In fact, tomorrow’s line-up might be repeated on Tuesday.”

Ancelotti on Rodrygo as a left winger

After Rodrygo had a very good performance on the left wing when replacing Vinícius on Wednesday, Ancelotti was asked if the younger Brazilian should have more opportunities there. He replied: “No, I would be crazy to start a competition between Rodrygo and Vinícius for the left wing spot. What we might see, though, is that we might play sometimes with a 4-4-2 and have Vinícius and Rodrygo together up front. Our system is quite clear, as it’s a 4-3-3, but it can quickly be a 4-4-2 if Vinícius pushes to press.”

Ancelotti on Álvaro Rodríguez

With Álvaro Rodríguez being called up for this game, Ancelotti praised the youngster, saying: “He is doing well. He was at the U20 South American Championship, which is why he hasn’t been in other squad lists, but he’ll be in tomorrow’s because we trust in him. His profile is one we don’t have, someone who is tall and a good header of the ball. He can help us.”

Ancelotti on the Barcelona refereeing scandal

Once again, Ancelotti preferred not to comment on the scandal involving Barcelona and former referees director Enríquez Negreira. He said: “It’s not good if people doubt the competition. Sport should always be clean and we fight for that and we should all collaborate for that. But, I’m not going to comment on this specific case. I’m just focusing on our matches.”

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