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Diego López and Iker to alternate in the remaining games

AS AS 03/05/2014 Alvaro de la Rosa

Carlo Ancelotti announced that goalkeeping duties will be shared between Iker Casillas and Diego López between now and the end of the season with both keepers playing matches each. That was the surprise news from this afternoon’s pre-match press briefing as Real Madrid prepare to face Valencia at the Bernabéu tomorrow night.

Talk of ‘suitcases’ and bonuses in Levante tomorrow... “Ah, that’s not something we talk about here. That doesn’t interest us at all. I’m sure that Levante will try and play their remaining matches in the same way we will play ours – to win. I don’t understand it.

Will Casillas get the chance to play in the league before the Champions League final? “I have made my decision. Tomorrow, Diego López will play, Iker will play on Wednesday [against Valladolid]. After that, Diego will play against Celta and Iker, the final game against Espanyol.. I have spoken to both of them about it and they’re both in agreement. I’ve decided to do it this way because Casillas needs to remain active and it doesn’t seem fair to me to leave him out during the three weeks we have to prepare for the final”.

Atlético: “People talk about their team’s strength but they also have a lot of quality. They’re one of the top sides in Europe”.

Who could deputise for Xabi Alonso in the Champions League final? “The obvious choice is Illarramendi, he is a more than able substitute and he is used to playing in that position. If nothing changes between now and the final, Illarramendi will replace Xabi”.

Prioritizing between league and Champions League: “If we start thinking about the Champions League now, we’ll have gone crazy by the time the final arrives, we’re going to fight to win all of our remaining games”.

Injury concerns: “Modric is unavailable; he is still recovering from a knock to his calf. Khedira is now able to play and the rest of the squad are in conditions to play. Xabi Alonso will play in his usual role tomorrow”.

Will Khedira play in the remaining matches? “If he is available, it means that he is fit to play. He recovered much quicker than we expected but we have to take great care with him; we have to take it slowly. We’ll be holding a practice match in Valdebebas next week and we will see how he gets on in that”.

Tomorrow’s game: “It won’t be easy but we need to win”.

You have been getting a lot of good press recently; do you think you have won everyone over with your working methods? “[smiles] People have more faith in my ideas on football, that’s all really”.

The full Real Madrid squad:

Goalkepers: Casillas, Diego López and Jesús.

Defenders: Varane, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrão, Marcelo, Carvajal and Nacho.

Midfielders: Bale, Xabi Alonso, Casemiro, Di María, Khedira, Isco and Illarra.

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema and Morata.

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