Ancelotti wary of Athletic

Carlo Ancelotti is taking nothing for granted when Real Madrid meet Athletic Bilbao, despite the visitors’ poor run of form.

Athletic have made a sluggish start to the League campaign, picking up four points from a possible 24, and have yet to win a Champions League group game.

They fell to defeat against BATE Borisov in midweek but Ancelotti warned at his pre-match Press conference that form can change in an instant.

“Athletic are a team that fight, with a lot of character and quality,” he advised, AS reports.

“They haven’t started well. They had to prepare for the Champions League play-off and then they suffered a lot of injuries.

“We have to be very careful against them. This may be the ideal game for them to recover.”

As for his own team, Ancelotti declared himself happy with how Madrid have been performing of late.

“We’re in a good run of results and performances,” he said.

“It’s true we need to be more compact in defence and have more balance in attack but we’ve been very effective.

“At first we didn’t have a clear idea of how we wanted to play but I think we have improved on that.”

Ancelotti was asked if Isco’s performance against Ludogorets in midweek would be enough to warrant a start against Athletic, the Coach replying that he intended to restore James Rodriguez instead.

“Isco is a very important player but James will start. He was rested on Wednesday,” Ancelotti confirmed.

Tags Carlo Ancelotti