Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will start as a striker for Real Madrid’s clash against Levante at Ciutat de Valencia.
Both Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain have been suffering from hamstring problems, and the Portuguese coach will shift his countryman from the wing.
“At Levante, Cristiano will play as the No.9. We will play with Di Mario, Cristiano and Callejon in attack,” he told reporters.
Elsewhere, Marcelo is still missing with a broken foot, while Fabio Coentrao has been missing with an injury sustained on international duty, and Mourinho is still unsure who he will pick at left-back.
“I do not know who will play on the left. I do not know if I can count on Coentrao or [Alvaro] Arbeloa. Whether they play or are on the bench depends on how both players feel and train.”
Madrid have had a poor record of late against Levante, and the 49-year-old went on to state that his side are fully aware of the task at hand.
“You have to play against every team. Sometimes you play teams with different characteristics. On the one hand, you have to impose your football, and if you don’t, you have to adapt,” he said.
“Winning [there] is not only difficult for us. If it were an easy stadium for others and difficult for Madrid, it would be something else. It is difficult for everyone. Their style gets results, so no one should criticise them.”
Finally, Mourinho responded to Benzema’s recent pleas for more playing time by stating: “I spend every match on the bench.”