Bad news for Real Madrid: Benzema out of El Clásico!
Although Karim Benzema had been expected to play against Barcelona, in the end Ancelotti has decided not to risk the French striker in Las Vegas.
In the end we won’t get to see a Benzema-Lewandowski duel in Las Vegas when Real Madrid take on Barcelona in the pre-season Clásico. The Frenchman won’t travel with Ancelotti’s side and stays in Los Angeles.
Although Benzema joined Real Madrid’s preseason camp in the US last Wednesday, he did so looking very good physically after his vacations, making it look possible he would play against Barcelona, despite the initial feeling he might not be ready.
Coach Ancelotti has decided not to take the risk though and leaves him behind. Right now Madrid have no backup for the French striker (Mariano has so far failed to convince Ancelotti) and despite the high profile of the match, Madrid’s initial plan of playing the Clásico without the team’s top scorer has been maintained.
Benzema left is LA
Benzema therefore remains in Los Angeles training, alongside him he has Carvajal, who is out due to a sprained ankle suffered last Thursday. They will be joined by Borja Mayoral, who is on his way to the United States.
Hazard as a false 9?
Benzema’s withdrawal gives Ancelotti a chance to try Hazard as a false nine again. The Italian coach has tried this tactic during the pre-season and wants to give the Belgian the chance to start getting back to his best level.
Hazard trained yesterday with the rest of his teammates without any problems, after a scare on Thursday of a muscle strain, which ended up being just that: a scare. Ancelotti can also rely on Castilla youth squad player Latasa, who is another possibility for Real Madrid up front in attack for El Clásico.