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Benzema out for Espanyol match but due back for Liverpool

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Real Madrid’s French striker Karim Benzema, who has been dogged by fitness issues this season, will miss Saturday’s La Liga match against Espanyol on Saturday but should feature in the Champions League next week.

Real are currently nine points adrift of leaders Barcelona in La Liga, making retaining the Champions League their priority for the remainder of the season. 

They thrashed Liverpool 5-2 at Anfield in the first leg of their last 16 tie and coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday that Benzema will “be available” to play the second leg in Madrid on Wednesday.

“Karim received a kick on the ankle which has swollen up. He tried to recover to be available (for Saturday’s fixture) but this was not possible,” Ancelotti told a press conference.

“We aim to have him in top form for Wednesday”, he added.

The 35-year-old current Ballon d’Or holder has been plagued by minor injuries this season but still enjoyed a stunning 2021-22 campaign that saw his outstanding goalscoring feats help guide Real Madrid to their 14th Champions League crown.

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