Created on 18-09-2017 at 16:07 PM
Carlo Ancelotti was nearly 15 minutes late for his press conference on Monday afternoon, such is his busy schedule at the moment. It’s only two days since the match against Mainz and on Tuesday Bayern face their next challenge with an away fixture at Schalke 04 (20:30 CEST kick-off, live ticker and Webradio commentary). After an impressive performance at the weekend, the Italian is fired up for the task ahead.
“We played very well against Mainz and the three points give us even more confidence. We want to follow up that performance against Schalke,” the 58 year-old told journalists. After a near-perfect display on Saturday, Ancelotti could adopt the motto “never change a winning team.” However, he rejected this option: “I believe rotation is important at the moment to keep the players motivated and in good form.”
As well as injured duo Juan Bernat and David Alaba, the Bayern boss will also be without Arjen Robben who is absent with illness. But Ancelotti asserted that the next two matches – against Wolfsburg on Friday and the highly anticipated trip to Paris in the Champions League next week – will not influence his team selection: “We’re focused on this game, it’s an important one. Schalke have nine points.”
That’s as many as FCB have. “Domenico Tedesco is doing a very good job. They’ve started the season well and they’re well organised in defence and attack,” said Ancelotti in praise of his opposite number, who took charge of the Royal Blues in the summer. It’s no wonder that he is going into the encounter with the record champions full of optimism after three wins in his first four Bundesliga games. “We need to play with courage and we’ll give everything we’ve got,” declared the 32 year-old.
One advantage for the Italian-born coach is that other than former Bayern player Alessandro Schöpf, he has a full squad to pick from. Schalke will also be looking to their home crowd to help them again. “I know they have a great stadium, one of the nicest in Germany. A lot of fans will be against us but we’re used to that, and it can also give you extra motivation,” said Corentin Tolisso ahead of his first visit to the Veltins-Arena.