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Real Madrid superstar a doubt for Espanyol clash – report

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Things continue to go from bad to worse for Real Madrid. As they prepare for the upcoming game against RCD Espanyol, club captain and ace striker Karim Benzema is now believed to be a doubt for the fixture.

This claim comes from Melchor Ruiz of COPE, who states that the 35-year-old’s situation will be assessed over the next few days before a decision is made on his availability for the clash versus Espanyol.

Benzema has endured an injury-riddled 2022/23 campaign, having already missed several matches due to injury and fitness problems.

Across all competitions, the Real Madrid captain has been unavailable for 12 games due to injuries. Most recently, he was left out of the squad for the La Liga encounter against CA Osasuna due to muscle fatigue.

Earlier today, the former France international did not train with the rest of the group and participated in indoor sessions. It has now led to doubts over his involvement against Espanyol.

Los Blancos will host the Catalan outfit on Saturday afternoon. Post that, they will have two extremely vital clashes against Liverpool in the Champions League and Barcelona in La Liga.

So, there might be a chance that Carlo Ancelotti decides against rushing Benzema back for the Espanyol game so as to ensure that he is in tip-top condition for the two crucial fixtures next week versus Liverpool and Barcelona.

While Benzema’s involvement is a doubt, Real Madrid will also be without the services of David Alaba and Ferland Mendy, although the latter is closing in on a return and could come back in time for next week’s El Clasico.

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Real Madrid News

Rival watch: Barcelona midfielder essentially ruled out of Real Madrid clash

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Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

In what could be a real deal breaker for Real Madrid ahead of their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg clash against Barcelona, it has been revealed that as many as three Barça will be absent from the game while another key player remains a major doubt.

The list includes the likes of Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Andreas Christensen. The trio is certain to miss the game through respective injuries while a certain Frenkie de Jong is more or less ruled out, as per Javi Miguel.

It must be remembered that Barcelona are heading into the second leg with a 1-0 advantage. But the absence of the aforementioned players means Madrid can work on exploiting the frailties.

Despite the absence of such big names, Barcelona did pretty well against Elche in their previous outing, coming out 4-0 victorious, with the goals coming from Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres.

With options lacking in midfield, Xavi decided to use the likes of Sergi Roberto and Eric Garcia along with Gavi in the heart of the lineup. In any way, they do have Sergio Busquets and Franck Kessie as backups if needed.

The defence, on the other hand, was perfectly guarded by Jordi Alba, Marcos Alonso, Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde.

One can expect Xavi to once again interchange Araujo with Kounde on the right since the Uruguayan has been rather successful in minimizing the threat of Vinicius Jr.

As far as Madrid are concerned, they are sweating over the fitness of three key defenders, namely, Antonio Rudiger, Nacho, and Ferland Mendy. Between these three, the Frenchman is out for about a month while Rudiger and Nacho are expected to be back before the Clasico.

If there are no casualties against Real Valladolid, Madrid will have a perfect midfield and attack, with only Mariano Diaz missing. 

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