Manchester City favourites to win Champions League, says Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti

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Real Madrid do not view themselves as favourites in the Champions League, even with their impressive track record in the tournament, according to manager Carlo Ancelotti. Ancelotti made this statement on Tuesday, pointing out that the defending champions, Manchester City, are favourites this season.

Despite securing their 14th European Cup victory in 2022, Real Madrid’s recent semi-final loss to City has tampered their confidence. Their Group C journey begins with a home match against Union Berlin on Wednesday, with additional challenges in the form of Serie A champions Napoli and Portuguese team Braga looming in the group stage.

“City are favourites because they have a squad that saw them win it last season and they haven’t changed much. However in the Champions League, like always, there are surprises at the end,” Ancelotti told reporters ahead of facing Union at the Bernabeu.

“Real Madrid are a team that are going to fight until the end. We never think of ourselves as favourites, just as I think City don’t. They won it last year, they can win the Champions League.”

Ancelotti pointed out that Real Madrid would not take Champions League debutants Union Berlin lightly.

“They’re a new team in the Champions League but the fact they’re here means they’ve done very well. They’re well organised defensively, they’re solid and they play with intensity…,” he said.

“The Champions League is a special competition for us. We’re going to treat tomorrow’s game as something special. We want to get off to a good start in the group stage and we’re playing at home.

Ancelotti also said Dani Carvajal would be rested for Wednesday’s game, but said the right-back would likely be available for the Atletico Madrid match on Sunday.

“Carvajal has a strain and we wanted to rest him to avoid problems,” Ancelotti said. “He feels good and we don’t think it’s anything serious, so hopefully he’ll be back soon.

“As things stand today, he has a chance of playing on Sunday. The player’s general condition is pretty good. Lucas Vazquez will play in place of Carvajal (against Union).”

Published On:

Sep 19, 2023

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