Benzema ruled out for Real’s Leganes tie
Madrid, Nov 5 (IANS) French striker Karim Benzema will not be available for Real Madrid’s tie against Leganes in the La Liga football match on Sunday.
Mateo Kovacic’s 85th-minute goal salvaged a 3-3 draw for the European champions at Legia Warsaw on Wednesday after Madrid had thrown away an early 2-0 lead. But as they look to respond to their setback, Benzema won’t be there up front to get them the goals.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane told a news conference as quoted by the club’s website: “Karim will not play tomorrow. He has some problems after the game in Poland.”
“He’s noticed something in his hip area, we’re not sure what it is, we’re going to see. It’s just a slight niggle, we’re not going to risk a player who has some sort of slight injury.”
In more positive news for Zidane, playmaker Luka Modric is likely to play a part against the promoted side after missing the last seven games with a knee injury.
Zidane added: “Luka Modric is with us, he is in the squad. He may have some minutes, let’s see. The important thing is that he’s OK, he’s completely recovered from his injury, that is the most important thing for me and everyone.”
Leganes have picked up nine points from a possible 15 on the road in their maiden La Liga season, and Zidane is expecting a tough test, despite Madrid enjoying a 27-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
“We know tomorrow is a difficult game, it will be complicated,” he added.
“Away from home, they play very well. They know how to play so we have to be at the top of our concentration, we have to play a serious game.”