Carlo Ancelotti ‘mind games’ dismissed as Real Madrid reveal Champions League final XI more than TWO HOURS before showdown with Liverpool
Suggestions of ‘mind games’ from Carlo Ancelotti have been dismissed after Real Madrid revealed their starting XI to face Liverpool in the Champions League more than two hours before kick-off. The Reds travel to the Stade de France aiming to complete a treble and avenge their 2018 defeat to the Spanish champions in European football’s […]
Suggestions of ‘mind games’ from Carlo Ancelotti have been dismissed after Real Madrid revealed their starting XI to face Liverpool in the Champions League more than two hours before kick-off.
The Reds travel to the Stade de France aiming to complete a treble and avenge their 2018 defeat to the Spanish champions in European football’s biggest fixture – live on talkSPORT.
But as thousands of fans were still partying in the streets, Madrid released their team sheet at 5.36pm for an 8pm kick-off.
Champions League fixtures often see teams revealed earlier than the customary one-hour before domestic matches, but 144 minutes is rather out of the ordinary, particularly for a fixture of this magnitude.
The decision by Madrid to publicise the team so early was even more curious given questions over who will start for Liverpool, with injury doubts around midfielders Thiago and Fabinho – who both started for the Reds as their XI was released an hour later.
But when asked whether Real manager Ancelotti was seeking a psychological edge, ex-Premier League midfielder Andy Towsend insisted the team was already common knowledge.
Townsend told talkSPORT: “I actually think Ancelotti was comfortable announcing the team early because he would’ve expected Klopp to see that team.
“There’s nothing hidden, there’s no agendas, no smokescreens, no mind games whatsoever.
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“That’s Ancelotti’s best XI and I think it’s what Klopp and Liverpool would’ve been preparing to face.”
He added: “If you are looking for anything psychological, maybe the fact that he’s happy to announce his team, he’s not bothered or fazed by what’s going to happen with the Liverpool team.
“Opponents are very good at knowing what they’re up against. Nobody wants to leak anything, but they know. They speak to people in the press and they get a very good steer before the teams are released.”
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