Ancelotti: Calderon will be a factor

Carlo Ancelotti is sure that Sunday’s Madrid derby will not be ‘an ugly game’, and believes that the Vicente Calderon may be a factor.

Atletico Madrid host Real Madrid tomorrow afternoon, and the Italian tactician has claimed that it’s going to be an intense encounter.

“I think it will be an intense game, derbies always are but I don’t think it will be an ugly game,” he told a Press conference.

“I am expecting a difficult match. We’ll try to win by playing our style of football but to beat Atletico you need to play as best as you can.

“It’s normal to feel pressure ahead of a game like this – a match between two sides who are both battling to win the league – two great sides.

“It’s about how you handle that pressure. To say that we are the favourites or not.

“We’re three points clear and so, in a sense, we are favourites but Atlético have an advantage because they’re playing at the Calderón.

“We all know how their fans get behind them at home.

“We’re not thinking about [the Treble]. We have a lot of games left to play and it’s difficult to win every match.

“We have to be focused and take each game as it comes. It’s good to think about winning – but one game at a time.

“We must play to our best level in attack and defence. We have to play with courage and personality. To win, we need to be better than Atlético in everything.”

The Coach then commented on Alvaro Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso and Gareth Bale.

“When Alvaro’s played he has shown that he’s focused and in good conditions. He’s been alert in defence for us and he hasn’t had any problems.

“If he continues like this, I think he’ll have a good chance of going to the World Cup.

“Xabi has the quality and intelligence to play in any system. I have been playing three in the centre but the forwards are working hard too.

“Cristiano, Benzema and Bale are scoring but they’re also winning the ball back for us and you really notice that. Xabi’s position is little more comfortable now because the others are helping out.

“Gareth is improving mentally and physically and you can really see that out on the pitch. He scored a wonderful goal against Elche and played well against Schalke.

“His confidence is improving and he’s combining well with the rest of the team.”

Ancelotti concluded by praising opposite number Diego Simeone.

“He’s doing a fantastic job. Atlético have won a lot of trophies during the past few years thanks to him.

“They have a clear identity in their style of play and they have character – all hallmarks of how Simeone works.”

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