Benzema out for Inter clash but has one eye on Madrid derby
The France international underwent tests on Monday that confirmed a slight hamstring problem but he could still be back in time for Madrid's match against Atlético Madrid.
Karim Benzema was taken off after just 16 minutes in Real Madrid's 2-0 win away to Real Sociedad on Saturday. After the match in San Sebastián, head coach Carlo Ancelotti admitted that the striker would not be back in time for Tuesday's Champions League clash with Inter Milan.
Tests carried out on Monday morning revealed the hamstring problem suffered, but the French striker already has one eye on this weekend's Madrid derby with neighbours Atlético. Due to the injury picked up, he will not be available for selection against Inter at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Ancelotti and the club will be relieved with the latest update as it is not a rupture and only requires rest and caution this week. Madrid will be hoping their top marksman is able to return in time for the fixture with Atlético at the Bernabéu on Sunday but are also aware that Benzema will be a doubt up until just hours before kick-off.
Jovic and Mariano available
Luka Jovic replaced Madrid's number nine at the Reale Arena on Saturday and scored and assisted in his impressive cameo off the bench. It was Jovic's third goal for Los Blancos in what has been a hugely frustrating time for the Serbia international at the club. Benzema has registered 17 goals and eight assists in 1,687 minutes this season, meaning he is involved in a goal every 68 minutes.
Madrid top of table
Earlier in the season against Elche, Benzema was rested and Ancelotti decided to start Mariano up front. The 28-year-old forward assisted Vinicius with a wonderful backheel pass. Ancelotti knows that he has options in attack if Benzema ends up sitting out the derby. Madrid's position in LaLiga also plays a part. They are top of the table and 10 points clear of Atlético, although they have played one game more than Diego Simeone's side.