Real Madrid Coach Ancelotti Will Make Huge Rotations With City In Mind, Reports Mundo Deportivo


Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti during the UEFA Champions League match, Quarter-finals, first leg, between Real Madrid and Manchester City played at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on April 9, 2024 in Madrid Spain.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is expected to rotate several key players at the weekend with one eye on Manchester City and FC Barcelona in El Clasico according to Mundo Deportivo, which cited anonymous sources.

Despite having nine days' rest going into the fixture, and much more of it than their visitors, Madrid looked fatigue when hosting Manchester City at the Bernabeu for a Champions League quarterfinal first leg on Tuesday.

One of Spain's two biggest clubs looked unaccustomed to going large swathes of games without the ball, and spent a lot of the 3-3 draw chasing City shadows as Pep Guardiola's men took their time and passed around the box waiting to find an opening.

SPORT reported that there are concerns about Jude Bellingham, who had an off night in the biggest game of his career so far.

Despite providing two assists, and equalling Lionel Messi in one impressive stat in the process, Vinicius Jr. also didn't appear to be at his best.

Both men missed chances from close range that could have put Madrid 3-1 up at one point early in the second half, and which might have battered City's morale had they been converted.

Instead, it was City that took the lead, with an evidently tired Madrid slow to close down Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol on the edge of the box as they both smashed sensational top corner efforts past Andriy Lunin.

Thankfully for Los Blancos, Fede Valverde struck 11 minutes from time with a thunderous volley which made sure everything is all square going into the second leg.

By the Spanish press, however, it is widely accepted that Bellingham, and perhaps Vinicius too, needs a breather if Madrid are to have any chance of progressing to the last four and meeting Bayern Munich or Arsenal.

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This means that Ancelotti could go for Brahim Diaz and Joselu up front instead, while further back in midfield, Dani Ceballos, Modric and an Aurelien Tchouameni who is suspended for the Etihad showdown plays as pivot.

On the back line, Eder Militao might have his first start since August to partner skipper Nacho, as the left back and right backs are Ferland Mendy and Lucas Vazquez, who comes in for Dani Carvajal.

With Madrid eight points clear at the top of La Liga, Ancelotti's men can afford to drop points and it is better to do so than land in England, and then El Clasico on April 21, battleworn.

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