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Carlo Ancelotti admitted Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro is a doubt ahead of tonight’s Champions League semi-final first leg and played down suggestions his team were under less pressure because they were not looking for their first European Cup like Manchester City.
‘It’s not a success for Madrid to reach the semi-final, said the Italian coach. ‘Success is reaching the final where we have a good chance of winning it.’
Asked if he felt confident about being able to name his strongest side he said: ‘[Ferland] Mendy is fine. Alaba is a slight doubt and Casemiro a bigger doubt. He is trying all he can to make it and if he can’t then he will play the second leg.’
Real Madrid could be without Casemiro and David Alaba for their Champions League tie
Ancelotti smiled when told by one reporter that the league was already won.
Real Madrid need just one point from their last five games and the 62-year-old, who will become the first manager to win five major European Leagues, said: ‘I agree with you.’
Asked about the expectation at the start of the season that Madrid might dominate at home but struggle in Europe he said: ‘There are two teams in the semi-finals that nobody thought would be, ourselves and Villarreal.
‘I remember the way public opinion was at the start of the tournament.’
Alaba was taken off with a suspected hamstring strain during Madrid’s game with Osasuna
The Austrian scored the opening goal in Madrid’s 3-1 win but hasn’t featured since
It was also put to Ancelotti that he could take a leaf out of Diego Simeone’s book and try to defend in numbers against Pep Guardiola’s side.
‘If you are not compact you will suffer,’ he said. ‘There are moments when they will have the ball and when they do we will have to defend well.
‘And when we have the ball we have to try to make the most of it using the quality we have.’
Casemiro has not featured since their second-leg quarter-final match against Chelsea
Ferland Mendy is said to be available for Tuesday evening’s fixture after successfully training
Source: DailyMail Sports