Ancelotti ready ‘to take risks’ to tackle Guardiola's City
Carlo Ancelotti admitted on Tuesday that Real Madrid will have to gamble if they are to come from behind to beat Manchester City in the semi-final of the Champions League.
Madrid trail 4-3 after a thrilling first leg in Manchester last week as they look to pull off another comeback and reach the club's first Champions League final since 2018.
"If we sit deep, we won't concede 99 shots and if we get into their box they are going have a go at us but sometimes you have to take risks," Ancelotti said in a press conference ahead of the second leg on Wednesday.
"In these games we have scored a lot -- three against PSG, five against Chelsea, three against City -- so we have the quality to take risks."
Real Madrid showed resilience and fight to come from behind against both Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 and Chelsea in the quarter-finals, but Ancelotti said they will need more than just character to defeat City.
"You don't get to a final only with your heart," Ancelotti said. "Personality is an important part but you need individual quality, collective commitment -- you need all this to reach a final, one of these things won't be enough to get to the final."
Luka Modric said the players are convinced they can go through as Real Madrid chase a 14th European Cup.
"We are very confident that we can come back, because we know that in the first match we did not play our best game and we still scored three goals," Modric said.
"We have the quality and character and the history of this club, having the most Champions League titles, also makes a big difference."
Real Madrid celebrated winning their 35th La Liga title on Saturday, as the players rode an open-top bus to meet thousands of fans at the city's Plaza Cibeles, despite the second leg against City being just four days away.
"We really wanted to go to Cibeles because it had been a long time since we could celebrate a title with our fans," Modric said. "We enjoyed it but as soon as it ended, we were focused on tomorrow's game.
"It was a beautiful day and that's it, the season is not over."
Ancelotti confirmed that Real Madrid defender David Alaba will miss the game through injury and will be replaced by Nacho Fernandez. But Casemiro is fit again, handing Madrid a significant boost in midfield.
"Casemiro will help us," Ancelotti said. "His return reinforces us defensively. I think we are going to see an improvement from the first leg."
- Guardiola unfazed as Man City face Real in Bernabeu cauldron -
Pep Guardiola has urged his Manchester City stars to show their "personality" as the Spaniard plots yet another successful visit to Real Madrid in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg.
Guardiola's side head to Madrid with a slender 4-3 advantage after last week's thrilling first leg at the Etihad Stadium.
[Related read: Can City slay the dragon at its den?]
With a place in the Champions League final at stake, Guardiola can take comfort from his impressive record in Real's intimidating Bernabeu Stadium.
Many star-studded teams have folded when confronted by a European night under the lights in one of the sport's most hallowed cathedrals.
But Guardiola has never been cowed by the prospect of facing Real on their own turf, winning six times and losing just once in nine visits with City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Guardiola's Barcelona marked his first game as a visiting boss in the Bernabeu with a 6-2 demolition of Real in 2009.
He also masterminded a 2-0 Champions League semi-final first leg win at Real in 2011 that propelled Lionel Messi and company towards the second of their two Champions League titles during his reign.
Messi memorably scored a superb solo goal in that encounter and Guardiola would dearly love a similar contribution from one of City's array of attacking talents.
City have already won at the Bernabeu in the Guardiola era, securing a 2-1 triumph in the Champions League last 16 first leg two years ago on route to eliminating the Spanish club.
Overall, Guardiola has won 12 of his 20 managerial meetings with Real at home and away.
But Guardiola did suffer a Champions League semi-final exit against Real in 2014 when his Bayern Munich were crushed 5-0 on aggregate by Los Blancos.
And, fuelled by Karim Benzema's incredible goal blitz, Real have already staged two dramatic comebacks at the Bernabeu to knock out Paris Saint Germain and Chelsea in the previous two rounds.
While City were clearly the better side in the first leg against Real last week, they couldn't deliver the knockout blow due to a combination of poor finishing and sloppy defending.
- 'It's huge for us' -
With that in mind, Guardiola has no intention of underestimating Carlo Ancelotti's team, saying: "I've lost and won against them. You play hundreds of times against a rival, you win and lose and none of that (past history) comes into it.
"The talent they have, the only way to beat them is to be better."
Given the 51-year-old's superstitious leanings, Guardiola might have been disappointed to discover City were unable to stay in his favoured hotel ahead of the second leg.
Guardiola likes to return to hotels he considers to have been lucky and City stayed in the Four Seasons for their quarter-final against Atletico Madrid last month.
However, they could not secure enough rooms for their squad and staff at the Four Seasons this time, so have had to switch to the nearby Mandarin Oriental Ritz.
"To win this competition, in my little experience, you have to overcome the situations that arise and you have to perform very well in two games," Guardiola said.
"It's a good test for us. We have to show our personality in the game. We will play to win."
City are embroiled in a tense Premier League title race with Liverpool, but the Champions League is Guardiola's holy grail.
Beaten by Chelsea in their first Champions League final appearance last season, City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan insists they are determined to make amends for that painful defeat.
"We are going to play in a great stadium against a great team. Real are one of the greatest teams in history, so you can feel how much of a challenge it is," Gundogan said.
"It's huge for us and for the club. We want to get to the final again, like last year."