Carlo Ancelotti has looked ahead to his first Clasico and commented on the ‘great’ motivation he sees within the Real Madrid dressing room.
Madrid travel out to the Camp Nou for Week 10’s meeting with Barcelona with scrutiny still on Karim Benzema’s form in front of goal.
With Alvaro Morata waiting in the wings, Friday’s pre-Clasico Press conference began with a question on the two forwards and if a line-up change was likely.
“Morata is better [physically] because Benzema did a good job defensively against Juventus and so is more tired,” considered Ancelotti in today’s pre-match Press conference.
“Tomorrow we need quality, not just in the physical, as import is the experience in these games. I cannot say who will play yet.
“The team’s motivation is great and so too is the concentration. I have confidence because the last game they played at the Camp Nou was a great game. They are very motivated.
“The timing of this game is also good, it is a very difficult game but we have improved a lot in the last week, in all aspects. We can do well.
“The idea is to go there to play and try to prove our qualities, our game, to do our best.
“We must have the courage and character to play football, not to just defend and wait. This takes character and personality, to go to Barcelona and play.
“The counter-attack is a weapon against Barca, it’s complicated to get the ball and when you do it is important to do something positive, to have good combinations and if there is space to counter-attack. Why not.”
This weekend is Ancelotti’s debut in the Clasico.
“I’ve seem all the previous ones, and even paid for the subscription on the television. Tomorrow I am in luck. I have seen many games in my life, but this is the one I have enjoyed watching.
“With Mourinho, Real Madrid improved a lot towards the end. They began badly but in recent years have good numbers.
“The players know the game, I have not work tomorrow in that regard.
“I do not know who is favourite, everyone thinks it is Barcelona. And that for us is not bad.”
The Coach considered the impending return to the team of Xabi Alonso.
“For us he is very important, especially for the philosophy we have for the game. It is true that after a moment of difficulty, Illarramendi has played very well, but he is still young and does not have much experience.
“I liked Illarra against Malaga and against Juve. In the last few games, the midfield three has been doing very well, giving the team balance. They are doing a good job.”