Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti – ‘Jude Bellingham is ready to play tomorrow’

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has calmed fears that Jude Bellingham may be suffering from an injury, after their top goalscorer exited training on Friday. Los Blancos host Granada at 18:30 CEST on Saturday.

Bellingham tested his fitness on Friday, appearing for the first five minutes of the session, stopping and then leaving with his head down. All signs pointed towards a muscle problem.

Ancelotti has said that he will be available for Granada though.

“Tomorrow he’s ready to play, he’s a little tired. He had a slight discomfort in his ankle and we preferred to avoid any contact, so that it didn’t get worse, but he’s fine for tomorrow.”

In terms of the injury crisis that Real Madrid are facing, with seven players out, Ancelotti was clear that it wasn’t just their crisis.

“It is a general problem, not just ours. Every game there are players who go down… because the schedule is very tight at the moment. We have to endure it, and it is being an opportunity for the players who have had less prominence. They are contributing a lot to the team.”

That number was at eight during the week for their clash against Napoli, but Kepa Arrizabalaga will return to the squad.

“Kepa is available and I will talk to him later. We will continue with Lunin… and then we will have a week to prepare for the game against Betis.”

Given the physical demands, and the number of injuries, the Italian was asked whether he feared a physical drop off in the second half of the season.

“It could even come tomorrow. You never know. Football changes quickly, but if you fall, you have to get up quickly. We know it will come, yes.”

Since the return of fitness coach Antonio Pintus, Real Madrid have traditionally scheduled in peaks and troughs into their schedule, optimising fitness in order to arrive at the final third of the season at the top of their game. Last season this worked against them, as they were too far behind in La Liga to make up the ground, but this year they are four points ahead of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.