Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said Friday he would rest “tired” players for Saturday’s Liga encounter with strugglers Getafe as his team prepares for their crunch Champions League semi-final meeting with Manchester City.
Madrid travel to England for next Wednesday’s second leg after this week’s first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu ended in a 1-1 draw.
Ancelotti listed Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, Rodrygo Goes and David Alaba as walking wounded and doubtful starters against Getafe.
“We still have some doubts with players who picked up knocks Tuesday and have not yet recovered,” said Ancelotti.
“(Ferland) Mendy and (Dany) Ceballos will return, they can play tomorrow.
“I won’t be taking risks as we have fresh players but it will be a very demanding match against an opponent that’s fighting against relegation.”
Ancelotti added he did not know if Vinicius Junior, scorer of Madrid’s goal against City, would start but that he would feature.
“The players who have doubts are not going to play and those who do play have time to recuperate,” he said.
The Italian insisted however that he would field a “competitive” lineup against Getafe in a game which Madrid must win to have any hope of overhauling runaway leaders Barcelona.
Ancelotti dismissed suggestions that other clubs in the relegation battle might feel aggrieved at Madrid playing with a weakened team.
“We’ll try to win tomorrow with the best team possible,” he said.
“I’ll try to preserve tired players but those who are available will play.”
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