Karim Benzema will miss Real Madrid’s La Liga 2021-22 match against fierce rival Barcelona because of a leg injury, coach Carlo Ancelotti said Saturday. Madrid host Barcelona on Sunday with an already commanding lead in the second El Clasico of the league. (More Football News)
Benzema has not yet recovered since hurting his left leg in Monday’s 3-0 win at Mallorca. “He can’t play tomorrow (Sunday) because he has not trained yet and still feels some pain,” Ancelotti said. “It is a small injury but it keeps him from training and, obviously, from playing.” (Live Streaming)
Benzema is having a superb season. He leads the La Liga 2021-22 with 22 goals. Last week he scored a memorable second-half hat trick to rally Madrid to a 3-2 aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
Madrid can still count on winger Vinícius Júnior, who has scored 14 times in the league this campaign. Ancelotti could start Marco Asensio in Benzema’s place as a “false nine.” Madrid enters the round with a 10-point lead over Sevilla. Barcelona is 15 points behind.
Xavi Hernández said that he would not be changing his game plan against Madrid.
“If (Benzema) is not the best, he is among the best strikers in the world,” the Barcelona coach said. “He has been among the best for the past three years. It won’t change our approach to the game. It will impact them more because it is a big loss.”