Carlo Ancelotti confirms Karim Benzema will play in Madrid derby


Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Karim Benzema is ready and available for the Real Madrid derby against Atletico Madrid on Sunday night.

The Frenchman has been plagued by stiffness recently, missing out on a 2-0 Champions League win over Inter on Tuesday due to a hamstring injury he suffered while playing for Real Sociedad.

Karim Benzema is La Liga’s leading scorer this season with 12 goals and has developed a shocking relationship with impressive Vinicius Junior, who has scored 10 goals himself.

Missing the Madrid derby could be a big risk for Benzema and Real, with Luke Jovic filling in for Inter during his absence, but Ancelotti has confirmed that the 33-year-old will play alongside their bitter rivals.

The Italian midfielder told a media briefing before the match: “He has trained well. He has good feelings, he will be available, he will play.

“We have all trained, with the exception of [Dani] Ceballos who will be there next week.

“I want to commend the work of the team of doctors and coaches, of having the whole team ready to go. This season they are doing a very good job.”

As Ancelotti has said, only midfielder Dani Ceballos is absent, although the former Arsenal striker will probably not be looking for a first-place XI soon. Striker Gareth Bale has returned to training after three months out, but Marco Asensio could be third in place of Benzema and Vinicius instead of a Welshman.

Los Blancos are in impressive form, winning each of their last nine games in all competitions. They have conceded just two goals in the last six games, and their last defeat came in early October when they were beaten 2-1 at Espanyol.

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