Real Madrid a team in transition, says Carlo Ancelotti ahead of Cup derby | Football News

MADRID: Real Madrid are going through a period of transition, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Wednesday, adding that a big part of his job this season has been to manage the expectations of his players.
With Casemiro leaving for Manchester United and midfield stars like Luka Modric, 37, and Toni Kroos, 33 entering the final stages of their careers, Ancelotti has shuffled his lineup from last season at the during which Real won La Liga and the Champions League.
However, the Italian has a selection dilemma ahead of Real’s Copa del Rey quarter-final tie against city rivals Atletico Madrid on Thursday, with French midfielder Aurélien Tchouameni still recovering from a a leg injury.
Either bring in Modric and Kroos or keep the faith with Dani Ceballos and Eduardo Camavinga who starred in recent La Liga wins over Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal, helping Real stay clear of leaders Barcelona.
“We are going through a transition period in our first team and everyone has to understand that,” Ancelotti told a press conference on Wednesday.
“It’s the understanding of the veterans and the patience of the youngsters. Last season, that mentality was essential for us in order to maintain a good atmosphere in the dressing room, because everyone understood that it was the best thing for the club. team.”
Ancelotti argued that this unit was essential for Real to win silverware this season, but said it would not be easy to beat a resurgent Atletico.
“We face a special opponent in a special game on Thursday. It’s an important opportunity and we want to win a title,” the coach said.
“Atletico are great rivals and winning against them is always difficult. What I can say is that it’s not just another game…no, it’s special and it will be entertaining.”
Atletico coach Diego Simeone returned the compliments but said his side will be stronger in attack than they were before the World Cup break, with all players fit except of injured midfielder Marcos Llorente.
“I see the team is better since we came back from the World Cup, with a lot more attacking options to create danger and work really well as a group,” Simeone said.
“I see the group committed, with enthusiasm and we are going to play an important match, a match with a very strong team, with a coach that I admire a lot, with everything that Real Madrid represents on the pitch and in their game. “
In the other quarter-finals, Barcelona host Real Sociedad and Sevilla take on Osasuna on Wednesday while Valencia and Athletic Bilbao face off on Thursday.


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