Real Madrid winning streak threatened by injuries
11 December 2014, 20:56
Barcelona - Real Madrid face Almeria in La Liga on Friday aiming to extend their record winning run to 20 matches but injuries are beginning to take their toll.
Ancelotti's side have been in blistering form and a 4-0 victory over Ludogorets in the Champions League on Tuesday set a new Spanish record of 19 wins in all competitions.
Injuries are becoming a concern, however, with James Rodriguez going off against Celta Vigo last weekend to join Luka Modric and Sami Khedira in the treatment room.
Asier Illarramendi has earned a chance to claim a regular place in the side but the team are looking stretched in midfield with Xabi Alonso having joined Bayern Munich in the last transfer window.
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"We are waiting to see how well Modric and James recover and then we will take a decision after Christmas," coach Carlo Ancelotti told a news conference on Thursday.
"Illarramendi has come in and has done well and can play in different positions in the midfield. (Toni) Kroos can also play in different roles but at the moment there is no need to move him from where he is in the centre."
Real lead the La Liga table with 36 points from 14 games and Ancelotti believes it is important for them to beat Almeria and keep their confidence high before they travel to play in the Club World Cup in Morocco next week.
"It is an honour to train this team and the record shows that we are playing well. There are no trophies but it gives you belief," Ancelotti said.
"We have been looking ahead to the Club World Cup and making plans. Whatever happens in the next few games though it has been a fantastic year for Madrid and we want to finish it on a high note."
Barcelona are just two points behind Real having won their last eight games largely down to the prolific form of Lionel Messi.
They beat Paris St Germain on Wednesday to finish first in their Champions League group and travel to Getafe on Saturday.
Champions Atletico Madrid, four points behind the leaders in third, have also hit form and are unbeaten in six games as they prepare to take on Villarreal.