Carlo Ancelotti reveals Real Madrid’s starting eleven for El Clasico

Following yesterday’s 2-0 victory over Levante, manager Carlo Ancelotti was clearly pleased and is now turning his full attention towards Sunday’s El Clasico showdown against Barcelona.

While the performance on Sunday wasn’t perfect, Madrid did play with better movement up front, created more chances and were clearly looking to redeem themselves in front of their home fans. The win against eighteen-place Levante was expected, however it was far from the laborious efforts Madrid have put forth since the turn of the New Year.

Speaking after the game, Ancelotti voiced his pleasure with his team’s performance, while leaving a clear indication as to which players would make up his starting eleven for the first-place showdown against Barcelona next weekend in the Camp Nou.

“The first half was good with intensity, quality and chances, controlling the game,” the manager said. “In the second half we played a little more relaxed. With the victory, this is the route we will take to improve.”

Ancelotti went into the match against Levante with the goal of improving the fitness levels of Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric. The manager also chose to rest his starting midfielder Toni Kroos, who has logged the most minutes at the club this season and was in danger of suspension had he picked up a booking.

Each of the decisions had been planned out well in advance, with the Italian boss obviously having one eye fixed on next Sunday’s El Clasico.

“Modric and Ramos contributed well to the team,” Ancelotti added. “We will now go to the Camp Nou with the maximum confidence in ourselves possible.”

“The match has served to verify Sergio [Ramos] and Modric’s great condition and we have managed to avoid any problems with cards for Isco and Kroos.”

Cristiano Ronaldo appeared annoyed at times during the match, and Gareth Bale celebrated his first of two goals by covering his ears while looking towards the supporters in the Bernabeu – who have whistled him loudly in recent weeks – and kicking over the corner flag.

When asked about the mindset of his two big-money players, Ancelotti responded: “Ronaldo was very much alive during the game, because the first goal came after a shot of his, as did the second. He was decisive in both goals. Bale knows Modric well, I’m sure he’s more comfortable having him at his side. I have seen Bale a lot more motivated, as I have the whole team.

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“It’s quite clear for all to see what the system and the starting eleven are going to be for El Clasico. Unless I go crazy this week, it’s all clear.”

Prior to the match, Ancelotti revealed goalkeeper Iker Casillas would start against Barcelona next week. With the manager electing to rest Kroos and start Lucas Silva, it can be expected the German international will return to his spot in Ancelotti’s lineup at the Camp Nou.

Real Madrid’s starting eleven vs. Barcelona will be:

Casillas;

Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo;

Kroos, Modric, Isco;

Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale.

Programming note: Soccer fans in the US, watch el Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid on Sunday, March 22 at 4PM ET on beIN SPORTS. If you don’t get beIN SPORTS, watch it live (and legally) via DishWorld for just $10/month for La Liga, Serie A, Ligue Un coverage and more. Watch DishWorld on your phone, computer, tablet or Roku. Plus, in addition to La Liga, Serie A and more, you’ll get Chelsea TV, Arsenal TV, Bayern Munich TV and more.

 

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