If you had explained to Carlo Ancelotti at the start of the season that he would be missing Karim Benzema for five of Real Madrid’s first 12 matches this season, but would win 11 of them, he would no doubt have been delighted.
Yet many a Madridista would be sitting more comfortably during this Sunday’s El Clasico if Benzema were fit and firing. After sustaining a thigh injury against Celtic in early September, Benzema missed ties against Real Mallorca, RB Leipzig and Atletico Madrid, all of which they won. Following the international break, Benzema returned against Osasuna and Shakhtar Donetsk, but missed their trip to Getafe with muscle fatigue.
According to Marca, Benzema will return to the starting line-up on Tuesday night against Shakhtar. Los Blancos are confident that Benzema will be back to full fitness and importantly, sharp again, in the near future.
So far Real Madrid have been cautious in their handling of Benzema. The star forward’s absence has been handled by the likes of Fede Valverde, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes, but looking at last season’s El Clasico, that focal point could be crucial.