REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: Benzema and Bale ruled out of the Spanish Super Cup

The club issued a medical update on both players, who won't be in Saudi Arabia. The French striker has a hamstring problem, Bale, a chest infection.

Real Madrid issued a surprise medical report on Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, both of whom will miss the Spanish Super Cup which gets underway on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia. Despite a trophy being in play, the club has decided that both players should stay at home and rest. It means Zidane will be forced to make changes in attack with chances for Vinicius, Rodrygo or Luka Jovic. Zizou could even revert to a 4-4-2 rather than his usual 4-3-3 as he has limited resources up front.

Benzema is reported to have injured his left hamstring (the semimembranosus muscle) during the final training session before the squad flew out to Saudi Arabia. And as usual, the club has not gone into great detail about the injury or given an estimate as to how long he is expected to be out of action. However, that Benzema will miss the opening game against Valencia - and a second game if Madrid go on to make the final, gives some indication of the severity of the injury. So far this season, Benzema has only missed one game - the Week 6 meeting with Osasuna.

Gareth Bale isn't suffering any kind of physical problem but will miss the Super Cup through illness. The Welsh forward seems to have succumbed to the cold weather in the capital and has caught a chest infection for which he is receiving treatment. It is the first time in a year that Madrid have issued a medical report on Bale, who usually opts to keep his medical record private.