Carlo Ancelotti has announced that Karim Benzema will not play in Real Madrid’s El Clasico match against Barcelona on Sunday.
The striker suffered a calf injury in Monday’s 3-0 win against Mallorca, in which he scored two goals.
Benzema has been in superb form for Real Madrid, scoring 32 goals in all competitions, including a hat-trick in the Champions League last-16 win against Paris Saint-Germain.
When Madrid hosts Barcelona at the Bernabeu this weekend, though, Ancelotti will be without the 34-year-old, as well as left-back Ferland Mendy.
‘Benzema and Mendy will not play tomorrow and will begin practicing with us next week,’ Ancelotti said before of the match on Sunday.
‘They’re coming to live with us.’ I’m not going to try anything new. In the PSG game, I didn’t try to force things.’
‘I’ve decided who will replace Benzema, but I’m not going to tell you who it is,’ Ancelotti continued.
‘Bale, Mariano, Jovic, Isco, and Rodrygo are all options for Benzema. There are other possibilities, but I will select the one that I believe is most appropriate for this match.
‘Without Benzema, we can defeat Barcelona. He’s a vital member of the squad and an excellent finisher. ‘Without Benzema, we’ll have to come up with new ways to attack.’