Carlo Ancelotti’s ‘mind games’ suggestions have been dismissed after Real Madrid revealed their starting XI to face Liverpool in the Champions League more than two hours before kick-off.
The Reds travel to the Stade de France in a bid to score a hat-trick and avenge their 2018 loss to the Spanish champions in the biggest game in European football – live on talkSPORT.
But with thousands of fans still celebrating in the streets, Madrid released their squad roster at 5:36 p.m. for an 8 p.m. kick-off.
Champions League matches often see teams revealed earlier than the usual time before domestic fixtures, but 144 minutes is rather out of the ordinary, especially for a game of this magnitude.
Madrid’s decision to publicize the squad so soon was even more curious given questions over who will start for Liverpool, with injury doubts surrounding midfielders Thiago and Fabinho – who both started for the Reds then. that their XI came out an hour later.
But when asked if Real manager Ancelotti was looking for a psychological advantage, former Premier League midfielder Andy Townsend insisted the team was already public knowledge.
Townsend told talkSPORT: “I actually think Ancelotti was comfortable announcing the team early because he would have expected Klopp to see this team.
“There is nothing hidden, there are no agendas, no smokescreens, no mind games.
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“It’s Ancelotti’s best XI and I think that’s what Klopp and Liverpool would have prepared for.”
He added: “If you’re looking for something psychological, maybe the fact that he’s happy to announce his team, he’s not bothered or confused about what’s going to happen with the Liverpool team.
“The opponents know very well what they are up against. Nobody wants to divulge anything, but they know. They talk to people in the press and they are very well guided before the teams are released.
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