Carlo Ancelotti drops double Real Madrid selection hint for Liverpool clash amid ‘trick’ claim
Liverpool have to overturn a three-goal deficit as they prepare to face Real Madrid in the Champions League last-16 second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
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Karim Benzema is ‘100% ready’ to feature for Real Madrid against Liverpool in the Champions League last-16 second leg.
Los Blancos have one foot in the door of the quarter-finals as they aim to defend their European crown - having defeated the Reds in last season’s final in Paris.
However, Carlo Ancelotti has warned his side not to get complacent as they prepare to welcome Jurgen Klopp’s side to the Santiago Bernabeu tonight despite holding a 5-2 aggregate lead from their win at Anfield three weeks ago.
Karim Benzema - who bagged a double in that encounter - missed Real’s 3-1 defeat of Espanyol last weekend. But Ancelotti has insisted that the evergreen 35-year-old is ‘motivated’ to feature against Liverpool.
Madrid boss Ancelotti said at his pre-match press conference: “He is 100% ready for tomorrow. He trained on Sunday and he is really motivated because for Karim, for me, for the players and the club, this is a really important competition.”
David Alaba has been left out of Madrid’s squad due to injury while Ferland Mendy has only just returned to fitness after being sidelined for the past six weeks. It meant that Eduardo Camavinga started at left-back against Espanyol and although he made an error for the opening goal, Ancelotti labelled him as ‘untouchable’ - suggesting the France international will keep his spot.
He said: “Camavinga is very important, he's doing very well. In the last game, he obviously made mistakes, but by playing so well he makes us forget about all the bad things. Against Espanyol, he made a big mistake, but then he played very well.
“He is untouchable today and he will be untouchable in the future as well.”
Ancelotti was coy, however, when asked if he would field a team of experienced players or put some younger members of his squad in the line-up.
“Young and energetic players or experienced players?” the Italian replied. “You asked a trick question and I will answer it with a trick. Tomorrow the experience and energy will be important.”