15 September 2014 14:30
Carlo Ancelotti is looking for Real Madrid to respond to their derby loss when they begin their UEFA Champions League defence against Basel.
The Spanish giants won their 10th European Cup with a 4-1 success over Atletico Madrid in May and they are bidding to become the first side to defend the famous trophy since Milan in 1990, with no team managing the feat in the Champions League era.
Real’s domestic season has got off to a far from ideal start, though, as Ancelotti’s men lost the Supercopa de Espana to Atletico before their city rivals won 2-1 in La Liga on Saturday to stun the Santiago Bernabeu.
With Swiss champions Basel the next visitors to the iconic stadium in the Champions League on Tuesday, Ancelotti sees the game as a chance for his players to recover from the disappointment of the weekend.
“This match comes at the right time,” he said in a press conference on Monday.
“I hope for a reaction and that [it] will be a good match. It is important to start this competition.
“This year we are going to be competitive and will try to win it again.
“Basel are a very good team that plays well and dynamically. It will not be an easy match. We need to do well to win.”
James Rodriguez, signed from Monaco in the close-season, is in line to make his Champions League debut for Real and the Colombia international echoed the sentiments of his coach.
“Basel have good players, but we have to go out to win,” he said.
“You should play with intensity. We play at home and we must go out to win the first match.
“We started badly, but we have the players to get out of this. This is the beginning and we can start winning.
“[Tuesday’s game] is a beautiful opportunity to start winning and do everything right.”