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Ancelotti makes ‘unfair’ call on Real Madrid’s Champions League final

With the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund looming and the La Liga title already sealed, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has already turned his attention to who will line up at Wembley Stadium on June 1.

According to Relevo, Ancelotti is expected to drop Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, instead leaving Thibaut Courtois as first choice between the sticks for the match against Borussia Dortmund.

The Belgian suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his knee in pre-season and only made his first appearance of the 2023/24 campaign last weekend in a 3-0 win over Cadiz. Following this performance, Ancelotti explained that “the plan for a player’s return after such a serious injury cannot change because of a single situation. He is training well and needs time to get back to his best level. That’s it, the plan can’t change. change because of a match, even though he showed confidence and security.

However, he now appears to have overtaken Lunin in the pecking order, despite the 25-year-old goalkeeper having started every knockout match in the competition this season, earning praise for his performances along the way.

Reflecting on the report, Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas told Cadena SER: “Lunin must play. That would be unfair. He showed that he was a guarantee keeper, that he could be there at any time. It’s not a question of whether it depends on me or not, but Lunine would have to play.

Shortly after, Ancelotti was asked for his opinion on the matter during his press conference ahead of the La Liga match against Granada, and he said: “I don’t want to get into that debate because I have a month to think about it. I didn’t think about it.

Courtois’ return against Cadiz

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois made his return to action against Cadiz and could do so again as Los Blancos take on Granada in La Liga this weekend. Likewise, third-choice Kepa is also in line for an exit, with Ancelotti keeping his cards close to his chest.

Courtois was applauded for his return as he made a fantastic save to deny Chris Ramos at the break for Cadiz, and it even sparked speculation that he could start in the semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich, but ultimately left on the bench.

One factor that could come into play is that the Belgian has never lost for Real Madrid in a final, having won a Champions League title by producing a man-of-the-match performance against Liverpool in Paris in 2022.

This year would be Courtois’ third Champions League final, following that victory in Paris and when he played against Real Madrid for Atlético Madrid in 2014, when Sergio Ramos scored a historic late equalizer .

Who else could start in London?

The Relevo report also states that Nacho, as team captain, will be given the green light to start in defense, ahead of the competition including Éder Militão and the possibility of moving Aurélien Tchouameni to defense.

There are also doubts over the injury to French midfielder Aurélien Tchouameni, who ended the match against Bayern through injury. “We doubt he can reach the final,” Ancelotti told a news conference on Friday. “Now we will do everything we can to make sure he recovers well. Militão will play these games because he needs minutes and the others, Rüdiger and Nacho, will rotate a little more.”

This means Ancelotti will have three weeks to consider his selection before traveling to Wembley Stadium in London.