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Pepe prepared for Mourinho snub

Real Madrid’s Pepe says he would not be surprised if he was omitted from the starting line-up for the Champions League clash with Galatasaray.

The 30-year-old defender has seen his appearances for the Spanish giants reduced in recent months, following setbacks from injury and the emergence of young starlet Raphael Varane.

But despite lining up against Zaragoza in La Liga on Saturday, Pepe believes Varane – who did not travel – was conspicuous by his absence, and expects the Frenchman to be given the nod for the visit of the Turkish champions on Wednesday.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if I wasn’t selected, but I’m here for the team,” Pepe told Marca.

“The coach (Jose Mourinho) decides what is best. We have a good squad and, as I said before, I’m here to help. I’ve played many games for Real Madrid and my approach will be the same as always.”

Pepe has featured in all of Madrid’s eight games in the Champions League so far this season.

Sun 31 March, 2013
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