Ancelotti 'to drop Rodrygo for second leg against Man City'

© Reuters

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti is reportedly preparing to drop Rodrygo to the bench for the second leg of the Champions League semi-final with Manchester City next Wednesday.

The tie is delicately poised ahead of the game in Manchester, with the two teams playing out a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Bernabeu on Tuesday night.

Vinicius Junior’s thumping strike sent Los Blancos ahead in the 36th minute, before a powerful drive from Kevin De Bruyne levelled the scores in the 67th minute.

According to Marca, Ancelotti is planning changes for the second leg at the Etihad Stadium, and one of those alterations will see Rodrygo drop down to the bench.

The report claims that the Italian wants to play a 4-4-2 formation, with Eduardo Camavinga being moved from left-back to central midfield.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti on May 9, 2023

Camavinga again started in defence against Man City, with Ferland Mendy and Eder Militao both unavailable, but he was moved into midfield for the latter stages of the match.

Ancelotti allegedly wants the France international to be involved further up the field at the Etihad Stadium, which could see him feature in a four-man midfield with Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde.

Vinicius would therefore be paired with Karim Benzema in the final third, with the Real Madrid head coach planning to play on the counter-attack in Manchester.

Ancelotti reportedly wants to ensure that his side are more solid when defending, with a four-man narrow midfield, in theory, making it more difficult for Man City to pass through the lines.

Vinicius Junior celebrates scoring for Real Madrid on May 9, 2023© Reuters

The Real Madrid boss will also have a decision to make in the middle of the defence, with Militao set to be available again after serving a ban in the first leg.

Mendy remains unavailable due to a calf injury, so David Alaba could potentially move across to left-back, allowing Militao to feature alongside Antonio Rudiger in the middle of the defence.

Rudiger impressed in his battle with Man City’s Erling Braut Haaland in the first leg, with the Norway international finding it difficult to make his mark in the Spanish capital.

Real Madrid are next in action against Getafe in La Liga on Saturday, where Ancelotti could make 11 changes to his starting side, with Los Blancos 14 points behind league leaders Barcelona with five games left.