Real Madrid vs. Braga: Kepa and Ancelotti Speak Ahead of UCL Group C Clash

Braga and Real Madrid go head-to-head at the Estadio Braga Municipal on Tuesday (October 24) in a Group C match of the UEFA Champions League 2023/24 season.

Braga picked up a 2-0 win over Rebordosa in the Taca de Portugal in their last game. Artur Jorge’s side has won their last five matches across various competitions, including a thrilling 3-2 victory over Union Berlin in their last Champions League outing on October 3.

In Group C, Braga won three points from their first two games, placing them third in the group behind Real Madrid and Napoli. Real Madrid is comfortably at the top of the UCL group table with two wins from two games; full points taken against Union Berlin and Napoli.

Real Madrid were looking for a fifth consecutive victory over Sevilla but could only manage a 1-1 away draw in their La Liga clash on Saturday. They face Barcelona next in the first El Classico of the season in Camp Nou in La Liga.

Carlo Ancelotti’s squad enjoyed a four-game winning streak before the Sevilla draw coming right after the international break.

This Tuesday’s encounter will mark the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

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Kepa and Ancelotti’s Pre-Match Statements

In a pre-match press conference, Real Madrid’s goalkeeper, Kepa, acknowledged the upcoming challenge: “The game vs. Braga will be difficult, at their stadium, but we’re in a good dynamic. We go for the three points.”

Regarding his future at the club, Kepa expressed his desire to stay: “Staying at Real Madrid? Of course, yes, I still want that. But it’s not time to negotiate it now. The focus is on the games now.”

When asked about his time at the club so far and how would he rate his performances in the absence of Real Madrid’s first choice Tibo Courtois he added, “I can say my three months here have been positive. But the season is long, and we will rate it at the end of the season.”

Kepa also highlighted the unique aspect of playing for Real Madrid, stating “I think playing here is a challenge and an incredible situation for any player. You surround yourself with the best players in the world, and that makes working in the same direction easier to win games.”

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid’s head coach, emphasized the importance of the upcoming match: “It would be good to win again tomorrow. We know Braga plays good football, we have to control the game. Defending will be important.”

Ancelotti also underscored the significance of the Champions League, saying, “This is a very important competition for Real Madrid. We like it more than anything else. It’s special.”

While expressing confidence in his team, Ancelotti showed respect for their opponents: “We respect our rival. We know they attack very well, they score a lot. We’re confident ahead of tomorrow but we have maximum respect for the rival.”

Looking ahead, Ancelotti addressed the possibility of rotations before the El Clásico, “No, but I won’t use the same XI we used vs. Sevilla. I have to evaluate the players who are tired after the break, some took knocks against Sevilla… so we will see.”

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