Cristiano Ronaldo as a sub, Karim Benzema in the stands and Gareth Bale at home would be the perfect Real Madrid team, that’s according to Carlo Ancelotti.
Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti is hoping to avoid facing up against Real Madrid’s lethal BBC front line in Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Bayern welcome Madrid to the Allianz Arena amid suggestions Zinedine Zidane may not field his usual attack of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, who is without a goal in his last 613 minutes of continental action.
And at his pre-match news conference on Tuesday, Ancelotti said he would be happy to see none of the three forwards in the team for the blockbuster clash in Munich.
“I’ve seen a lot of Madrid matches and I think I know a lot about the BBC,” Ancelotti told reporters.
“I think Madrid are on course to win the league and they do very well with BBC. Without them in the team it is not a problem and I think Zidane thinks the same.
“I would prefer it if BBC weren’t to play – I prefer Cristiano to be on the bench, Benzema in the stands and Bale watching at home.”
Ancelotti was in charge of Madrid between 2013 and 2015, winning the Champions League in his first season at the club, but the Italian does not think his familiarity with Madrid and his former assistant Zidane is necessarily a boost for Bayern.
“I haven’t talked with the [Madrid] players,” Ancelotti added. “We know each other well, but it is neither an advantage nor a disadvantage. I know Sergio Ramos very well, I know the potential that he has.
“But we are focused on our qualities and on what we want to show tomorrow. I have certain relationships to Real, for me it will be a special game.
“I know Zidane very well, but I do not know which tactical lineup he will choose tomorrow. I do not think so much about Real Madrid, I have to think about my team. Two top teams meet and both want to play well.
“If I’m to sleep well tonight, I have to think this current Real team is worse than my one.”
The Bundesliga champions made a slow start to the UEFA Champions League but, settled under Carlo Ancelotti, exploded into life in the last 16 by demolishing Arsenal.
The German champions never really got out of second gear in the group stage, advancing with two games to spare despite a 1-0 loss at Atletico. A shock 3-2 defeat by Rostov had fans of bigger rivals sensing weakness, but a thumping 10-2 aggregate victory against Arsenal in the last 16 summarily banished such thoughts.
There is a reason why Bayern, for all their problems on their travels, have reached the semi-finals three seasons running: in Munich they are formidable. It is three years since they last failed to win a home game in the UEFA Champions League, a competition record run of 16 triumphs. That, allied with improved away form, means they will be hard to beat.
The Bavarians are coming on the back of an intimidating home form. They scored 29 goals in the last six at the Allianz Arena, the most recent a 4-1 win against Borussia Dortmund.