Ahead of their trip to Osasuna on Saturday, Carlo Ancelotti says he is happy with the current form of his Real Madrid side and dismissed reports that Radamel Falcao will arrive in the January transfer window. Since losing the Clasico in late October, Madrid have won five straight matches in La Liga to close to within three points of Barcelona at the top of the table, looking increasingly impressive in the process.
“The team’s attitude is good,” he said, according to Spanish sports daily AS. “Now we have more intensity at the back and more clarity to our game. We are in a good moment of form and we have to continue with the same attitude because the season is very long.”
With Karim Benzema having struggled at the start of the campaign, reports resurfaced linking Los Merengues with a move for former Atletico Madrid striker Falcao, despite his summer move to Monaco. But having scored an extraordinary 22 goals in those five consecutive league wins, Ancelotti does not view signing a new front man as a priority for Madrid when the transfer window reopens.
“He’s a great player but we’re quite happy with the strikers we already have,” he said. “The team is scoring a lot of goals and so there is no need to sign Falcao at this point in time.”
Cristiano Ronaldo comes into the match on the back of breaking the record for the most goals scored in a Champions League group phase having netted for the ninth time in the 2-0 win away at FC Copenhagen in midweek. Gareth Bale is in equally prolific form, having struck a hat-trick in his last league encounter -- the 4-0 win over Real Valladolid.
Their form has meant reduced playing time for Angel di Maria. As in the summer, there have been reports that the Argentine winger wants away from the Bernabeu, but Ancelotti believes that he is happy to stay at the club while confirming that he will play some part in Saturday’s encounter. Ancelotti confirmed that Raphael Varane will return from a knee injury in January, while Sami Khedira and Fabio Coentrao also remain on the sidelines.
Against Osasuna, there is every reason to think that Madrid’s winning run will continue. While things have improved for Javi Garcia’s men since losing six of their first seven matches, three defeats in their last four encounters leaves them just a point above the drop zone. Garcia believes his side has a chance of upsetting Madrid in front of their own fans at the El Sadar, although having scored just six goals at home all season that is a big ask.
Where to watch: The Spanish Primera Division clash will kickoff at 10 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by beIN Sport, with a live stream provided by beIN Sport Play.