Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will start Real Madrid’s visit of Espanyol tomorrow, while Sergio Ramos will be benched as a precaution.
The Portuguese forward was rested against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey midweek, but he is set to regain his place in Los Blancos' first team on Saturday, with the defender's back problems making him a risk not worth taking in the eyes of the Coach.
“I’ve spoken with Cristiano and the rest of the squad and made the decisions which I think are necessary,” he said at a Press conference.
“Before the last match against Atletico, he was tired and preferred to rest. He’s recovered well and is free to play again.
“We have never talked about Cristiano’s knees because they’re both great, there’s no problem with them.
“I will rest Sergio Ramos to avoid any problems. He had an injury in the Club World Cup final, so it could be dangerous [risking him].
“He rested in training this morning and again in the cup. Other than that, the rest of the team will be the same.
“The dressing room are looking forward to winning again. We must find an explanation as to what is happening.
“I don’t see any serious problems but we need to halt [our bad run] this time around. I’m more worried than usual.
“I’m aware of the team’s unhappiness [with the run]. We’re in a bad run but it’s normal. We aren’t at an optimal mental condition yet.
“Physically, we’re fine. It’s a run which all teams go through. We’ve seen this happen to Barcelona and now it’s happening to us.
“I think we had more doubts in September than now. Now we know that we can win 22 straight games and do things well.”