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Ancelotti: “The formation won’t change in the absence of Vinícius”

The coach previewed the first home game of the season.

Carlo Anceloti Press Conference After Real Madrid Training Day Photo By Oscar J. Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be back in the Bernabéu on Saturday, after three months away, and Carlo Ancelotti spoke of his excitement when previewing the LaLiga game against Getafe: “We’re very excited to return to the Bernabéu, with its updates and, most importantly, with our fans. We’ve done well in the first three matches on the road, but now we’re happy to return home and we hope to take another three points. As for injuries, Ceballos and Mendy will be ready for after the international break.”

Ancelotti on the squad

With no more signings expected, the coach was asked to analyse the transfer window. He said: “I’m very happy with the squad. We did our work early, meaning almost everyone was in place in time for the start of the season. It’s a squad with a mix of youth and experience. We have some injury issues, but the squad is very good and we can replace those players without many problems. We have the resources to compete in every competition.”

Ancelotti on the absence of Vinícius

Asked about how the team will play without Vinícius and if they’ll change away from the diamond system, he replied: “Obviously losing Vinícius means we lose one of the most decisive players. Our idea of play doesn’t change. We’re not changing the formation. We’ll replace him with a player with different characteristics and we’ll try to adapt our attacking play. We could replace him with Joselu or Brahim or with a midfielder. If Joselu plays, for example, you might have more crosses. If it’s Brahim, there might be more play in between the lines. By having Rodrygo there, you have a forward who is very complete and versatile.”

Ancelotti on the order of penalty takers

Ancelotti expressed frustration when Rodrygo and not Modrić took the penalty in the last game. Asked what the order is when everyone is available, he said: “It depends on the match. Joselu shoots very well and has experience, while Modrić and Vinícius take them very well too. So, if you’re asking me for an order when everyone is available, I’d say Joselu first, Modrić second and Vinícius third.”

Ancelotti on Gonzalo

Asked about the academy and about Gonzalo in particular, Ancelotti said: “Gonzalo is doing well and he’ll be in the squad tomorrow, along with Nico Paz. Our youth academy is really good and all the players who come up to the first team have a lot of quality. Gonzalo is one of them, as is Nico Paz or Marvel or Vinícius Tobias or Mario Martín.”

Ancelotti on Mbappé

There was, inevitably, an Mbappé question. Following on from his comments where Ancelotti said he’d give up some of wages to keep cameras out of the dressing room, he was asked if he’d take a pay cut to sign Mbappé. To that strange question, he replied with a perplexed look: “I don’t see what sense it makes for me to reduce my salary for Mbappé. He’s not a Real Madrid player and I don’t like talking about players from other clubs, as I want to respect everyone.”

Ancelotti on the Champions League draw

This was also the first opportunity for Ancelotti to analyse the Champions League draw, which he did by stating: “Napoli were really good last season and they have a similar squad but a new coach. They’ll compete well, like they did in last year’s Champions League too. Union Berlin are also a team who play very well together, in particular in defence. As for Braga, we’ll have to respect them too as they play good football. We must respect all the opponents because each match is a potential banana skin if you’re not careful.”

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