The crisis at Real Madrid has left every squad member exposed. From Keylor Navas to Cristiano Ronaldo, it is difficult to find a player who has not been questioned since September. Karim Benzema, who has faced fervent criticism, will return to the first team after a month of absence through injury.
There was plenty of confusion surrounding Benzema's injury. Did he pick up the niggle in the Clásico and keep it to himself? Did something happen during his subsequent holiday over the Christmas break? In any case, the 30-year-old striker returns in need of an upturn in form.
Benzema at his worst since joining Madrid
Barcelona were 14 points ahead of Real Madrid when Benzema retired to the treatment table. That gap has now opened up to 19 points following a draw at Celta Vigo and a home defeat to Villarreal. Benzema has been saved from the recent wrath of Madridistas by his spell on the sidelines.
With little more than four months of the season remaining, Benzema must improve on his current return of four goals in LaLiga. Never before has his scoring record been so bleak in the white shirt of Real Madrid.
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