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Karim Benzema's 400th game overshadowed by goal drought

LAS PALMAS-REAL MADRID

Karim Benzema's 400th game overshadowed by goal drought

Benzema, durante un partido con el Real Madrid.

EMILIO COBOS

If he plays against Las Palmas, the Frenchman will bring up his quadruple century of Madrid appearances as he looks to add to his four league goals this season.

Madrid

Karim Benzema wil mark his 400th Real Madrid appearance if he features against Las Palmas on Saturday. The Frenchman is likely to start in Gran Canaria after two weeks of relative inactivity during the international break although Borja Mayoral’s five goals in two games for Spain’s under-21s may lead to a rare opportunity for the back-up striker with Juventus on the horizon.

However, Benzema will surely be given some pitch time against Paco Jémez’s strugglers as he seeks to snap a goal drought in LaLiga that has seen him find the net just four times this season, with 10 assists to his name in mitigation. Benzema arrived at the Bernabéu in 2009 from Lyon for a fee of 35 million euros but is enduring his poorest season to date in the white shirt in front of goal, with just eight in all competitions at a rate of one every 298 minutes.

Benzema seventh on all-time Madrid scoring list

In his 399 games for Real Madrid to date, Benzema has scored 188 goals at an average of 0.47 per game. In the Champions League, his favourite hunting ground, the striker has bagged 41 in 81 while his league tally matches his overall total in terms of proficiency, with 126 at a rate of 0.47 per match.

Often defended by Zinedine Zidane as a provider more than a goal-scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo has also stated his preference for playing alongside Benzema, who is the source of many of the Portuguese’s strikes. Still, Benzema’s return at the Bernabéu currently has him in seventh place on the list of Real’s all-time leading scorers, ahead of club legends Emilio Butragueño, Pirri and Paco Gento.

His next target is Hugo Sánchez, who scored 208 times for Madrid, a feat that is unlikely to be achieved this season at his current rate. Benzema has found the net just twice in the league in 2018, against Betis and Alavés, but has teed up seven for his teammates, a balance he will hope to redress somewhat in the Estadio de Gran Canaria to celebrate his landmark for Madrid.

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