Will Karim Benzema play for Real Madrid against PSG in their Champions League last-16 tie? GOAL is here with everything you need to know.
Benzema has been Madrid’s main source of goals once again in 2021-22 as Carlo Ancelotti’s side have risen to the top of La Liga and progressed to the Champions League knockout stages.
The France international has hit 24 goals in 28 appearances, including five in Europe’s elite competition, but the Blancos are sweating on his fitness ahead of their round of 16 first-leg meeting with PSG.
Is Benzema injured?
Benzema has been out of action since being forced to come off with a hamstring complaint during Madrid’s 2-2 La Liga draw with Elche on January 23.
Ancelotti rested the 34-year-old for a subsequent Copa del Rey clash against Athletic Club, with the Blancos initially confident that the issue wasn’t a serious one, but Benzema was also absent for their 1-0 win over Granada on Sunday.
Has Benzema trained?
Benzema returned to training on the morning of February 9 in a solo session away from the rest of the first-team squad, and on Friday GOAL confirmed the striker was back in full training and would face PSG.
It was agreed with the Madrid medical staff that Benzema could resume full training, and Ancelotti confirmed that the player is availble for selection against PSG.
However he will go into that match having not played for three weeks, as he will not be risked for the weekend’s Liga match against Villarreal, meaning it is touch and go whether he will play 90 minutes against PSG.
Benzema took to Instagram to give supporters an update on his recovery on Thursday as he posted a video in high spirits while working on drills in the gym.
When are Madrid due to play PSG?
PSG are set to welcome Madrid to Parc des Princes on February 15, meaning Benzema faces a race against time with his recovery.
The Frenchman is also being trusted to make an honest assessment on whether he should be included in Madrid’s travelling party to Paris.
What’s been said?
Ancelotti addressed Benzema’s fitness before Madrid’s home win against Granada, admitting he is not yet “100 per cent”.
The Italian head coach also acknowledged that his team are weaker without their chief goal-getter, but he remains confident that they have enough additional firepower in his absence.
“Of course we’re missing Benzema, he’s the top scorer in the league, scoring lots of goals this season for Real Madrid,” Ancelotti said.
“I think you look at teams and their Benzemas [star player], if they miss that player of course it’s a big loss, it’s a blow.
“Without Benzema it’s tougher, but without Benzema we’ve won games. I think we’ve done well without Karim.”