A place in the finals is up for grabs as FC Barcelona host Real Madrid in the second leg of the Copa Del Rey semi-finals. Carlo Ancelotti’s side trails by one goal in the tie, and will be hunting for goals if they want to the final.Embed from Getty Images
Real Madrid beat Real Valladolid by six goals to nil on Sunday, with Karim Benzema scoring a quick first-half hattrick, and Rodrygo, Marco Asensio, and Lucas Vasquez finding the back of the net. Carlo Ancelloti did rotate a few players, as Luka Modric, Fede Valverde, and Dani Carvajal were on the bench. At the same time, Jesus Vallejo, Dani Ceballos, Alvaro Odriozola, and Eden Hazard got some minutes in the thumping victory.
carlo Ancelloti on how he will approach The game
“We’re feeling good, motivated, and confident after the good performance against Real Valladolid. We believe we’ll have a good game tomorrow. They obviously have a goal advantage. We can’t go crazy in search of the goal. You could score in the fifth minute but then concede two. Or you could score in the 90th minute. Our approach is to have a complete performance, not to score goals. If you have a complete performance, the goals will come. This is an important competition and we’ll give our all to make it to the final.” said Carlo Ancelloti, when asked how Real Madrid will approach the classico.
The last three times both clubs have met, FC Barcelona have come out on top. The team from Catalunya won the Spanish Super Cup finals 3-1 against Real Madrid in Saudi Arabia, then edged past them by a goal in the first leg of the semi-finals of the Copa Del Rey at the Santiago Bernabeu, and then beat them with a 92nd-minute winner by Frank Kessie in LaLiga to extend their lead by 12 points.
Ancelotti on what to expect
“No. You can surprise the opponent by changing an entire system, but you can surprise yourself too and that might be more dangerous. It’s more about tweaking small details. Barça have won the past three Clásicos and I think it’s our turn. I still think we played well in the last two Clásicos. We were very close to winning the last one at Camp Nou. We may make changes to the line-up, or we might not. But, we want to play the same way. Modrić and Kroos are still undroppable, although that doesn’t mean they’re going to start tomorrow. Modrić was also undroppable a few days ago against Valladolid but spent the whole game on the bench. Having energy will be important, but there are other important aspects too. These are matches with a lot of pressure, so the experience of the veterans might be useful. We have to think about all the players and who’ll come off the bench too. Like I often said last season, it’s not only the starters who’ll be important.” added Ancelloti when quizzed about if he would prefer a change in style or a new approach because of the last three defeats against their fierce rivals.Embed from Getty Images
Xavi’s team has got the better against Real Madrid in the last three fixtures in three different competitions, and hence four in a row could upset the Real Madrid faithful and even the board, with rumours of Carlo Ancelotti’s future surfing the news. There have been rumours that if he does not win a trophy this season Real Madrid would prefer a change in manager, with Mauricio Pochettino, Julian Nagelsman, and Xabi Alonso featuring in the list of names being linked to the champions of Europe.
El-Classico is one of the biggest rivalries in world football, the world stops at a still when Real Madrid and Barcelona log heads with each other. What is up for grabs is a place in the final, with Barcelona clinching the Super Cup and having a 12 points lead in La Liga, Copa Del Rey and Champions League are the only two hopes of silverware for Real Madrid this season.