Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed on Tuesday that he would not coach again when he leaves his current position at Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Real Madrid entertain Rayo Vallecano in a Madrid derby on Sunday night, and the game could offer Carlo Ancelotti’s side the chance to move clear at the top of the table.
Atletico Madrid suffered a surprise defeat at Las Palmas on Friday, while FC Barcelona have a tough visit to play Real Sociedad on Saturday night, reports Xinhua.
Following their last-minute win away to Barcelona last weekend, Real Madrid were not involved in the first round of the Copa del Rey.
That has given Ancelotti the chance to work on the fitness of his players, with summer signing Arda Guler getting close to his first-team debut. Ferland Mendy and Dani Ceballos are both doubts for Sunday’s game, but Aurelien Tchouameni will be out for a couple of months after suffering a stress fracture in his foot against Barcelona.
“We have three games at home now, but the priority is tomorrow [Sunday], when we play a solid and well-organized team. The priority is to win tomorrow and then we’ll see,” said Ancelotti in his pre-game press conference.
“It’s the moment to give a blow on the table both in the league and in the Champions League.”
The coach said Guler would be in Sunday’s squad, adding that his ability to play in either attack or an attacking midfield role would give his side further attacking options.
Rayo are currently eighth in La Liga with 17 points from 11 games as coach Francisco Rodriguez has seamlessly replaced Andoni Iraola in the dugout. Rodriguez was able to rest several regular starters in the Copa, but still saw his side cruise to a comfortable 6-0 win away to Atletico Lugones.
The Real Madrid game marks the start of a run of tough matches for Rayo, with a home game against Girona next weekend, followed by Barcelona at home and an away match against Athletic Bilbao, and the next four weeks will probably show just what their realistic ambitions are for the season.