Mallorca coach Javier Aguirre spoke to the media on Tuesday, ahead of his team’s clash with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu. The Mexican tactician praised the league leaders, but also expressed his confidence in his own players.
“It’s difficult to subdue Real Madrid at their place,” Aguirre said. “Normally they play more in your midfield. Last year we were 1-0 up, they turned it around and Antonio scored the equaliser. They punished us at the end. I expect a similar game, with few scoring chances for us. We will have to be accurate and take our chances. They will have more possession and more chances. We have to keep defending well and improve with the ball. I want more personality with the ball and try to win the match. I see a chance of winning there. The probability of losing is greater than in other stadiums, but we will surely compete and try to take advantage of the chances we have.”
The Mallorca boss also touched on Vedat Muriqi, who scored at the Bernabeu last season and will miss the game.
“I don’t think Muriqi will play in January,” Aguirre said. “We have been conservative with him and I think it’s for the best. It was a very strange injury.”
Aguirre also commented on the extensive injuries to Real Madrid’s backline, as Ancelotti will be without Nacho Fernandez (suspended), as well as the injured Eder Militao, David Alaba, Thibaut Courtois, and Ferland Mendy. “Everything came together with injuries and suspensions. These are big losses. But Tchouameni has the physique of a center-back, ball control, aerial play alongside Rüdiger. In addition, whoever plays in Madrid has quality and is qualified. I don’t know if they will be affected by the losses. It will be complicated all the same.” he said.
Finally, Aguirre praised both Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti, who just renewed his contract with Real Madrid. “I was delighted that Ancelotti was renewed. It gives prestige to the league. He is an excellent coach and human being. The best thing Real Madrid has done is to give continuity to the coach. I was also surprised by Bellingham. Every time he steps in the area he doesn’t forgive. It’s the same Real Madrid we’ve always faced, competitive and who never give up. It’s very difficult to win at the Bernabéu. I was fortunate enough to win twice, but I’ve lost more times.” he said.