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Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid: Ancelotti highlights Blancos advantage in Cup derby

Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid
© Ace Football

The Blancos reached the quarter-finals with a narrow victory over Villarreal.

Carlo Ancelotti admits the “illusion” of playing on home soil might help Real Madrid beat Atletico in their upcoming derby.

The Blancos pulled off a dramatic comeback to beat Villarreal in Copa del Rey’s last-16 round. Ancelotti’s men must return to the competition this Thursday, meeting their city rivals.

Real Madrid will play at their home stadium for the first time since they defeated Cadiz in a league game in November.

 “It may be that we are favourites because we play at home, but both teams have motivation and enthusiasm,” the Italian said.

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“The illusion of going home, I think, will help us. Playing in front of our fans will help us. Going back to the Bernabeu will be special.”

Atletico have already crashed out of the Champions League and sit fourth in La Liga. Losing the Copa del Rey clash would end Rojiblancos’ hopes of claiming a trophy this season.

But Ancelotti insists his side will play against an “improving” Atletico side.

“It’s an important opportunity to reach the semi-finals of an important competition, nothing more,” he added.

“We take into account the strength of the rival and we know that it takes a lot [to win]. It’s a special game, and it’s going to be an entertaining game because Atletico are improving.”