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Ancelotti: “We have to be at our Real Madrid best to beat Levante”

NEWS | 17/10/2014 | Alberto Navarro

“We have to play with a lot of intensity because it is important to maintain our winning streak”.
Carlo Ancelotti held a press conference in Ciudad Real Madrid a day ahead of the game against Levante. The Italian confirmed that “Isco and Casillas will play” and analysed Saturday's fixture: “It will be very similar to the game we played last year. I'm confident that we are even better than last season. We have to be at our Real Madrid best in order to beat Levante. We have to play with a lot of intensity”.

“We are focused on this match. We haven't had any unusual problems, except for Varane and Benzema, who both woke up with fevers and are unlikely to be available. The rest of the squad is in good shape and we can maintain the streak of form we were enjoying before the international break, but it will be difficult because Levante is a brave and strong side at home”.

Levante's strong points
“They are a team that likes to pass the ball around, they are aggressive in the centre of the pitch and are very fast on the break. While their playing style has changed since last year, if we think it will be an easy game, it will be impossible to win. In order to be at our best we have to approach it as a tough game because it will be. This season's high-scoring victories came about because the team has worked really well together”.

Rotating the squad for the possible absences of Varane and Benzema
“If Varane doesn't play, Nacho will start in defence. We can play Chicharito or an attacking midfielder up front. I will make a decision in the next few hours. Isco had a great game with the Spanish Under-21s and will feature on Saturday. I still have to evaluate James, we'll make a decision about him in the next few hours”.

The Levante match is the most important one at the moment, after that we will think about what else is to come.

“We are preparing for the games we have ahead in the next few days by focusing on tomorrow's match. That is the most important game, after that we will have time to prepare for the others. We don't have any problems. We are used to playing a lot of games in short space of time”.

Chicharito's transition
“I'm going to think about whether he will play or not over the next few hours. He has fitted in really well and has already scored goals. He has confirmed what we thought about him before signing him with great professionalism and by showing his quality as a player”.

Which goalkeeper will start against Levante
“Iker Casillas will play tomorrow. Keylor Navas arrived back yesterday evening. The Spanish national team is not Real Madrid and we have no desire to transition from one keeper to another. De Gea does not play here”.

Cristiano Ronaldo's position
“He won't be changing position. He has enough quality to play anywhere up front. The plan is not to change his position regularly”.

The team's supposed problems in defence
“I've already said that we've been made to pay for lapses of concentration in certain stages of games and because of a lack of fitness, as we didn't have enough time to train properly during the pre-season. We have addressed those problems and have to keep up the consistency. We are on the right track now”.

The tough Copa del Rey draw
“It is a complicated draw for everyone, but it is the draw and we have to accept it. Compared to last year it will be harder to reach the final this time round.

The return of Khedira
“The player has returned and made a complete recovery from the problem he had with his hamstring. He is ready to play, but he is still not fully fit. He has gotten over his injury and can give us more strength in the centre of the park”.

Jesé's recovery
“He is still working on his own. We are not hurrying him and I still can't give a precise date for when he'll return to the squad. He is in good form and will be back with us very soon”.

Supposed refereeing decisions in Real Madrid's favour
“I played against Real Madrid on two occasions and never felt like they received any extra help against us. If anything it was the other way round. We were given a penalty for something that clearly happened outside the box”.

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