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Carlo Ancelotti confident of Real Madrid fightback in Champions League final bid

Real Madrid Training and Press Conference – Etihad Stadium
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is confident his side can complete yet another fightback to reach the Champions League final.

The newly-crowned LaLiga champions head into the second leg of their semi-final against Manchester City on Wednesday trailing 4-3 on aggregate after a remarkable first encounter at the Etihad Stadium last week.

Real trailed by two goals to a dominant City three times but repeatedly fought back in an absorbing encounter.

Karim Benzema scored twice for Real in a compelling first leg

Karim Benzema scored twice for Real in a compelling first leg (Mike Egerton/PA)

They followed up by clinching their domestic title at the weekend and, after staging recoveries in the previous two rounds, are in bullish mood as they return to the Bernabeu.

Ancelotti said: “We have scored three goals against Paris St Germain, five against Chelsea and three against Manchester City.

“Sometimes you have to take a little risk but we have the quality to do it.

“They have the advantage and we have to improve. It is difficult but we have an incredible opportunity to play another final after having won LaLiga.

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“The mood is very good and we can do it.”

Real are without key defender David Alaba through injury but the influential Casemiro is fit to feature in midfield.

Casemiro’s availability, having only been fit enough for the bench last week, gives Ancelotti a selection poser over whether or not to retain the in-form Rodrygo, who has scored four goals in his last five games.

Rodrygo took Casemiro’s place last week but moved into an advanced position alongside Vinicius Junior and the prolific Karim Benzema – the two goalscorers – with Federico Valverde dropping into midfield.

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With the experienced pair of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in the centre, Real will not lack the quality needed to prevail against a formidable City side.

Modric, the former world player of the year, feels it is now a case of turning it on.

The veteran Croatia international, speaking alongside Ancelotti at the pre-match press conference, said: “We have to go out there and show a lot of belief, personality, energy, aggression and show that we’re Real Madrid, the best team in the world.

“As always, the Bernabeu also has a part to play and we’ve got to make sure we get our fans in the game right from the off.”

Kevin De Bruyne (right) and Luka Modric in action

Real Madrid will have the experienced pair of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric (left) in the centre (Jon Super/AP)

Real faced the prospect of elimination against both PSG and Chelsea at the Bernabeu but turned both ties around.

While some may suggest they have ridden their luck, Modric looks at it as a show of character.

The 36-year-old said: “To get here and be in I don’t know how many semi-finals and winning the Champions League, you cannot only have luck.

“There is an opinion that we have won and don’t know how. That is a little unfair. We have to laugh but everyone can have their opinion.

“We are concentrating on us and not what is said from outside.

“We expect an opponent of the highest level, like Chelsea or PSG. I cannot say if it will be more difficult, but they are a very good team with big players. We expect a very difficult game.”

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