Carlo Ancelotti has said it and the results prove it – Real Madrid are a different animal with Dani Carvajal in the starting lineup than they are without him, note Diario AS.
Since the right-back has returned to action after recovering from his last injury, Madrid haven’t lost once. That’s ten games, including the victory over Athletic Club at San Mames that Carvajal was rested for.
Carvajal returned for a cameo in El Clasico back in the middle of October, and since then Ancelotti has gradually eased him back into the dynamics of the first team.
Now, it seems that the veteran has put the injury problems of last season behind him. In fact, he’s eyeing up a place in Luis Enrique’s La Roja squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Carvajal will be key in the Madrid Derby this evening. He’s played 26 times against Atletico Madrid in his career, and will be keen to secure an integral victory.
Madrid are five points clear of Sevilla at the top of the table and ten clear of Atletico, who are fourth despite being defending champions. If they can stretch that lead to eight and 13 points respectively, they’ll have a Merry Christmas indeed.