Ancelotti absence unlikely to affect Madrid against Chelsea, says Courtois

By Sports Desk April 05, 2022

Thibaut Courtois does not anticipate Carlo Ancelotti's expected absence to be a problem for Real Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final first leg.

Ancelotti tested positive for COVID-19 last week, and was absent for Los Blancos' 2-1 win at Celta Vigo on Saturday.

He is anticipated to be unavailable again when Madrid face his and Courtois' former club Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. 

As of Tuesday, Ancelotti was still testing positive - preventing him from making the trip to London - though the Italian could travel if he returns a negative test on Wednesday.

Speaking about playing without Ancelotti's guidance, Courtois told a media conference: "Luckily, his assistant is his son, so it's quite similar!

"But, there's a complete and good staff there, and it has been possible to have a video call with him.

"As for his absence from the dugout, I think the coaching staff did very well in Vigo and I don't think it'll be much of a problem here."

Chelsea knocked out Madrid in the semi-final stage en route to lifting the trophy last season.

The Blues won the return leg at Stamford Bridge 2-0 to claim a 3-1 aggregate triumph.

However, with the second leg this time around taking place at Santiago Bernabeu, Courtois is hopeful of Madrid producing a different result provided they can head back to the Spanish capital still alive in the tie.

Madrid produced a stunning turnaround at the Bernabeu to eliminate Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16; Karim Benzema scoring three times in 17 minutes to give them a 3-1 win on the night and a 3-2 aggregate victory.

"It's a new season," Courtois added. "Last season was different since it was semi-finals and later in the season, there were no fans then, and it was the second leg that we played away.

"We saw in the last round how we pulled off a comeback at the Bernabeu. We want to bring this tie back to the Bernabeu, too.

"The [scrapping of the] away goal rule changes it a little. We saw that in the last round when the 2-1 turnaround had already earned us at least extra time, even though we won 3-1 anyway.

"Before, we'd have known that we needed three goals. I think that's a good rule change."

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