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Ancelotti confirms changes ahead of Champions League return leg

Madrid, May 12 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed on Friday that he will ring the changes for his side’s La Liga game at home to Getafe on Saturday.

Madrid has almost no chance of winning La Liga and with a UEFA Champions League return leg away to Manchester City on Wednesday night, Ancelotti will rest as many players as possible expected to start in midweek while giving time to fringe players.

With the La Liga title long out of sight, it is a luxury Ancelotti has been able to carry out for the past month or so, and after winning the Copa del Rey last Saturday, the tactic has clearly worked.

That should mean players such as Marco Asensio, Dani Carvajal, Aurelien Tchouameni and even Mariano Diaz will probably kick off against a rival that is still battling to avoid relegation, a Xinhua report said.

“[Thibaut] Courtois will play tomorrow and Vinicius too, although I don’t know if they’ll play from the start, but we will have a very competitive side,” insisted the Real Madrid coach.

“I am not going to take risks with players, because we have fresh players available. We are playing a rival fighting to avoid relegation and it will be a demanding game,” he said.

He said he wouldn’t understand complaints from other sides battling to avoid relegation that he fielded a weakened side, insisting “we will try and win with the best possible side. I want to protect the players who are tired.”

Getafe travels to the Santiago Bernabeu third from bottom of the table and still in the relegation zone, despite a narrow 1-0 win at home to Celta Vigo in their last match.

That win marked a triumphant return to the dugout for Jose Bordalas, who replaced Quique Sanchez Flores with the task of keeping the side in the top-flight.

Bordalas is known for his willingness to use any tactics in order to assure points, and expect Saturday’s game to be plagued by interruptions with Getafe players taking as long as possible over set pieces and throw-ins, especially if they get their noses in front.