Ancelotti: Casillas will start the Clasico

The Real Madrid coach admitted that he could drop his first-choice shot-stopper for the visit of Levante but maintains that he will definitely be in goal against Barcelona

Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that regardless of who plays in goal in Real Madrid’s clash with Levante on Sunday, Iker Casillas will start against Barcelona next weekend.

Casillas’ recent dip in form has seen an increase in calls for him to be dropped and Ancelotti has admitted that he could consider give the Spain international a rest in order to afford reserve shot-stopper Keylor Navas some playing time.

However, the Blancos boss added that whatever happens against Levante, Casillas will be in goal for the trip to Catalunya.

“I still haven’t decided the starting XI, I am going to decide it tomorrow [Sunday], but I will choose a line-up to try to win, not to single anyone out,” he told reporters. 

“If Keylor plays tomorrow, Casillas will play the Clasico. And if Casillas plays tomorrow, he will also plays the Clasico.”

Slip-ups against Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal have seen Madrid lose their place at the top of La Liga to Barca, and they just only just scraped into the quarter-finals of the Champions League, losing 4-3 at home to Schalke in midweek but progressing 5-4 on aggregate courtesy of their 2-0 win in Gelsenkirchen three weeks ago.

While Ancelotti acknowledges that his job is coming under increasing scrutiny, he says that he can deal with the mounting pressure.

“It is the world’s largest club, and when you fail, you have the world’s biggest criticism,” the Italian coach stated. “It is proportional to the position, and it’s an honor for me.

“It is normal to be affected by this, but that does not mean that we will give up. We will make more effort and sacrifice to change the situation.

“The players are eager to get out of the situation quickly and resolve the problems that we have had. Everything is open and that gives us great motivation.

“When the fans are whistling, it is because they are not happy, but I use it to improve my work.”

The 55-year-old also welcomed the timely return to full fitness of defender Sergio Ramos, as well as midfielder Luka Modric, who made his comeback against Schalke on Tuesday.

“Sergio has worked well and is going to help us like Luka,” Ancelotti added. “They have personality and character, we are all pleased about their returns.”

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03 2015
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