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Carlo Ancelotti suggests Man City comeback may influence team selection for Liverpool

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Mirror
24th May, 2022 17:58 IST

Carlo Ancelotti has hinted Rodrygo could start against Liverpool in the Champions League final after his Man City heroics.

Real Madrid will take on the Reds in Paris on Saturday in what's set to be a showstopping affair between two of Europe's elite sides.

The Spanish side knows exactly what it takes to get the better of Jurgen Klopp's men after coming out on top in this fixture in 2018, but it's a vastly different Madrid attack this time around.

Karim Benzema will lead the line once again but there is no Cristiano Ronaldo while Gareth Bale and Isco are on the fringes of Ancelotti's side. Vinicius will be deployed on the left wing but the final position of the front three is up for grabs.

Rodrygo will be in contention given his blistering impact against Manchester City in the second leg of the semi-final as Real Madrid completed a dramatic comeback. The winger climbed off the bench to score two goals in stoppage time to send the game to extra time which Madrid would end up winning thanks to Benzema.

And Ancelotti has suggested the Brazilian could be given the nod against Liverpool. Speaking at Madrid's open media day leading up to the Paris showpiece, he said: “(Rodrygo) might start, would you start him? I’m not worried, I know what he can do. This is not a game for 11 players, many more will be important and the starting line-up is one of the smallest concerns I have.”

Madrid were able to rest a whole host of first-team players for the final league match against Real Betis on Friday as they had already wrapped up the title. Ancelotti will have a fully fit squad to select from, including veteran defender Marcelo.

“The whole roster is in good shape and excited about the match," the Italian said. "Marcelo has a small physical problem but will be fine, motivation is huge. It’s the biggest game in the world of football and the fifth final in eight years for this club. Every single Madridista is proud of this club, we now have to enjoy it and get ready for it the right way. Now we’re calm, there’s a good atmosphere. The closer we get to the game we will be more tense, but it’s normal.

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“We’re up against one of the most physical teams in the entire world and they also have quality. The physical aspect is important but will not decide the outcome of the game.”

Ancelotti insists their previous comebacks against Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City doesn't mean anything heading into the final. He added: “If we deserve to win it it will be because of what we do in the final, not before.

"We haven’t been showing tremendous quality, but not a single team beat us in commitment and motivation. I don’t think that’s enough to win it but we will have to make sure we have that in the final.”

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