Karim Benzema missing for Real Madrid ahead of Liverpool clash

The Real Madrid manager revealed whether the striker will be available for the second leg in the Champions League next week.

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Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Karim Benzema won’t play in this weekend’s La Liga game against Espanyol ahead of their clash with Liverpool on Wednesday night.

The most-recent Ballon d’Or winner enjoyed the best season of his career last year netting 44 goals and recording 15 assists in 46 games as he helped his side to win La Liga, the Champions League and Supercopa de Espana.

However, he’s suffered injuries at a regular rate that have included muscle fatigue, muscle injuries, knocks and a hip flexor injury that have combined to see him miss 12 games in total.

Despite that, he’s maintained a high level of form, scoring 18 goals and assisting five times in 27 games.

Two of those goals came against Liverpool during Madrid’s 5-2 win at Anfield a few weeks ago and now Ancelotti has confirmed that the striker will not be available for this weekend’s game but will recover in time to face Liverpool on Wednesday.

“He’s had a knock on his ankle, it’s swollen, he won’t be able to play tomorrow and he trained individually today. He will be available for Wednesday’s game [vs Liverpool],” said the Italian.

It’s inevitable that it will affect us, he is very important to us. Last season he scored a lot of goals. He has not reached that level and it has affected us.

“In the second half of the season, he has been important and he is going to be more important. We are confident that he will help us.”

Even though Madrid earned that important win over the Reds, Los Blancos haven’t won since that night. Two draws against Atletico Madrid and Real Betis were sandwiched by a loss to Barcelona in the Copa del Rey, casting doubt over their form coming into the second leg of the knockout tie.

It’s been the opposite for Liverpool who drew 0-0 away at Crystal Palace before beating Wolves and Manchester United at Anfield, scoring nine goals across the two games.