Ancelotti expected La Liga title fight this season

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has not been surprised by the level of competition in La Liga.

The Italian left Paris Saint-Germain in June to take charge of a Spanish side for the first time, having previously enjoyed spells in Serie A and the Premier League.

Despite winning 12 out of 16 league games thus far, Real sit five points behind Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

However, Ancelotti claims he expected a fierce battle for the title when moving from the Parc des Princes.

"I think that the Spanish league is very high in quality," Ancelotti said on Tuesday.

"They (Barca and Atletico) are the only sides in Europe to have 43 points from this amount of games, and that's the thing with this league – to win it you need to get more or less 100 points, and that's something we know.

"We'll try to get as many as we can, but it's not a surprise, no."

Ancelotti is hopeful defender Sergio Ramos could return for Sunday's trip to Valencia.

"We'll be without Pepe but we might have Sergio Ramos back, we’ll see with that one," said the 54-year-old.

"Ramos has got a small problem with his back, but it's something he was carrying before the game with Osasuna (last weekend).

"Then he played and has been seen by the physio, and he still has the problem."