The biggest fear of every Madridista ahead of El Clasico was confirmed on Saturday morning, as reports broke that Karim Benzema would be missing the match on Sunday night.
The French forward had been struggling with a muscle problem all week, which was picked up in Real Madrid’s 3-0 victory over Real Mallorca on Monday night.
🚨 Karim Benzema is NOT training with the team and will MISS #ElClásico 🚨
— Nils Kern (@nilskern17) March 19, 2022
Since then, the French forward has been training in the gym during the week. Marca did note that he had received encouraging results from tests carried out on Friday, but Benzema did not train on Saturday morning and has thus been ruled out from the match on Sunday.
Karim Benzema is arguably Real Madrid’s biggest threat and no doubt Gerard Pique and company won’t miss him on Sunday. Not only has Benzema directly contributed to 33 of Madrid’s 59 league goals this season, he also has 11 goals and 10 assists against Barcelona.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti will have to get creative to replace the Frenchman. Luka Jovic and Mariano are the other natural number nines at his disposal, but haven’t been trusted by Ancelotti often this season. Marco Asensio, Rodrygo Goes or Eden Hazard may be asked to fulfil a central role. Alternatively, Gareth Bale could be utilised as up front as was the case against Villarreal several weeks ago.
Image via AP Photo/Joan Monfort.