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Ancelotti defends Guardiola tactics

SoccerNews in La Liga 25 Apr 2014

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Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has defended the style of his opposite number at Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola.

The Spaniard has received criticism for the tactics he employed in the sides’ UEFA Champions League meeting on Wednesday, which Real won 1-0 despite Bayern enjoying plenty of possession.

Guardiola won three La Liga titles with Barcelona and has already secured the Bundesliga crown in his first season at Bayern.

Ancelotti, who has been linked with the vacant managerial post at Manchester United this week, backed his rival in a press conference on Friday, while urging Real to focus on Saturday’s league game against Osasuna rather than the return meeting with Bayern next week.

“I like Guardiola’s style of play. He introduced new ideas with a clear style in football. He has a clear identity,” Ancelotti explained.

“We are not focused on the match in Munich yet. Tomorrow’s match is very important and it comes first.

“Like I’ve always said, I’m very happy here and I’m lucky to coach the best team in the world.

“We must stay focused against Osasuna because we are not physically 100 per cent ready.

“We will try to fully recover. We have to be focused on the league. We must win all our games.”

While Cristiano Ronaldo returned from injury to start on Wednesday, Gareth Bale was only fit enough for a place on the bench and Pepe was withdrawn due to an ankle injury.

Karim Benzema has also been added to Real’s injury list after scoring against Bayern, with Alvaro Morata a potential replacement up front.

“Cristiano has recovered well. He needs to play to get into his best condition so he will play (against Osasuna),” Ancelotti explained.

“We are still not sure if Karim and Pepe will play. There will be some changes, but not big ones.

“Bale trained today. He is a bit weak and we won’t know if he will play until tomorrow.

“Benzema received a knock and is doubtful for the game. Alvaro Morata might play.”

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