Home Latest News Champions League How can Ancelotti and the Merengues get the better out of the...

How can Ancelotti and the Merengues get the better out of the Scottish Champions – Celtic? | UCL 2022/23


Celtic’s current Champions League campaign has already gotten out of hand, with the club unable to qualify for either the UCL knockout stages or the Europa League.

Losing three of their five UCL group stage games, drawing two against Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk, and failing to secure a single win would be something they would have to reflect on, and when the Bernabeu is hosting, you always want to provide a night the fans remember.

With that in mind, Carlo Ancelotti would look forward to tackle this game in his own way and dominate in certain portions while prevailing control over the play. Karim Benzema would still most likely not be able to make an appearance following no recent news regarding his muscular discomfort. Aurélien Tchouaméni also might not be risked by Ancelotti after he was out of the game vs Girona following slight discomforts.

Let’s take a look at some major factors that can help shape up the game:

A Solid Foundation

Embed from Getty Images

With Courtois back in the team and Alaba forming a solid partnership with either Rudiger or Militao, the defence appears ready to face whatever Celtic throws at them. But with the unavailability of Tchouameni, it would mean both Alaba and his partner to switch and move parallel with Kroos from time to time so that Kroos can help control the pace of the game.

Another aspect that comes into play is the active role of our outer backs. Despite being there at all costs when the team is in a defensive transition, Carvajal and Mendy also do a lot on their part of making overlapping runs for Vinicius and Valverde down the wing.

When the opposition tends to settle back and fortify the defence, Carvajal becomes more important. Thanks to his awareness and brilliant ball control, he always appears at the back of the final third and latches onto the end of Kroos’ diagonals. And from there whether he crosses the ball, squares it to Valverde and drops it off delicately to a running Vinicius/Rodrygo to the other end, it always means danger.

The Pivot and the Glue

Embed from Getty Images

With no Tchouameni it’s almost certain it’s going to be Kroos who will play the pivot and regulate the play without breaking a sweat like the master passer he is. And with Modric in the squad along his side acting as the glue, most of the playmaking can be expected to be from Kroos with Modric as his favourite partner in crime.

Additionally, Modric drifting up and down the right along with Valverde while also being the second man to initiate press alongside Rodrygo would mean that the third man in midfield, most likely Camavinga, would be given a lot of freedom.

As we have already seen from our two French youngsters in midfield, Tchouameni is the more calm, composed and resolute man while Camavinga is the more adventurous lad who can be lethal if he is given the freedom to roam the pitch.

If Ancelotti goes with this expected midfield we would most likely be seeing Camavinga pairing just behind Vini and Rodrygo to thread them with through passes while also being the one who would slide in to break the play when there are dire straits.

The South American Flair

Embed from Getty Images

With Benzema still out of the squad, it means our newly formed South American trio would get the chance to display their charisma and wow us, the fans. In fact with the stats so far – Vinicius Jr: 9 goals and 5 assists; Rodrygo: 6 goals and 5 assists; Valverde: 7 goals and 3 assists across all competitions, it would be genuinely hard to convince anyone they are not a real trio.

Valverde can be expected to play in between Modric and Carvajal in the offensive phase picking up the ball from the right or the backline and eyeing for a pass and lining up just before the 18-yard box to drive a cannonball to the top corner. Routine, disciplined and lethal.

While the two Brazilians on this side would love any opportunity to display their flair and get past defenders like it’s a skating rink. While their unique trait which makes Madrid so flawless in the final third is that neither of them are selfish. Putting a pass to a teammate for a tap-in while they could have scored could be seen so often, just like Vinicius’ goal last week against Girona.

When the result of the game doesn’t affect the outcome after it, the game can be expected to be an up and down one with players given the liberty to flow with the game while also keeping it safe so as to avoid sustaining any injuries that could hamper the progress in La Liga or UCL further in this campaign would be the main objective in this game for Carlo Ancelotti.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here