Madrid: Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti believes the best way for his side to prepare for Sunday's crucial La Liga clash with Barcelona is to produce another commanding display when they host Schalke in their Champions League Last 16 tie today.
The Spanish giants are all but guaranteed their place in the quarter-finals after winning the first leg 6-1. Ancelotti admitted that advantage will allow him to rest a few of his star names, but wants to ensure Real continue their 30-game unbeaten run in all competitions since October.
"We are going to make some changes just because we had a very physically tiring game on Saturday night," the Italian said at his pre-match press conference. "We had to travel and so to help everyone recover well we will give some players a rest tomorrow."
Karim Benzema will definitely miss out after suffering a bruised thigh in the win over Malaga and Gareth Bale looks set to start on the bench as Ancelotti confirmed that Jese Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata would partner Cristiano Ronaldo in attack.
However, Ancelotti, who was won the competition twice as a coach with AC Milan, warned his players against slacking off with the Barcelona game in mind.
"The team is in good shape and is capable of playing a good game. That is what we have to do for many reasons because it is a Champions League game and we need to keep our good form going.
"The best way to prepare for the game on Sunday is to play well and gain even more confidence. We need to prepare well for every game. We played very well in the first leg and we have the desire to do so again tomorrow."
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