‘I don’t know if we’re favourites’

Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that despite their indifferent start to the season, Real Madrid can beat Atletico Madrid.

Los Blancos have struggled to wins over Almeria and Granada this term, whereas their city neighbours are enjoying a 100 per cent start to the campaign.

“It’s difficult to say [whether we’re favourites],” he told a Press conference.

“We played badly against Elche but this is another game, it will be different. We’ll be giving our best to win a very important game against a side who are doing well and have won all of their games.

“Atlético have improved and grown in confidence since the Copa del Rey final but we can play well and win.

“They are a compact side, they play well as a unit but we have different qualities. Atlético are more aggressive but Madrid have more quality.

“It’s one of their characteristics to be aggressive as a weapon. They’re good at the back and well organised. We need to find a way through using speed. Playing slowly will make it tough".

The Italian tactician then commented on Gareth Bale’s fitness, Diego Simeone and his formation for the match.

“I think Bale will be available to play, I will decide nearer the time whether he will start or come on later. Marcelo won’t be fit in time to play.

“Matches are always about the players. The team will play well if it is clear about its strategy and that’s what we’ll be trying to do.

“It’s not about who’s sat on the bench, it’s about the players out on the pitch.

“Simeone’s Atleti are like he was as a player. Tactically perfect and with a lot of character.”

Tags Ancelotti