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Carlo Ancelotti confirms fit-again Karim Benzema will start against Osasuna

Carlo Ancelotti confirms fit-again Karim Benzema will start against Osasuna

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Karim Benzema will be back in the starting lineup for Sunday’s La Liga clash with Osasuna.

The 34-year-old has not featured since coming off with a knee injury against Celtic in the Champions League on September 6 – missing Los Blancos’ last three games in all competitions.

Eden Hazard and Rodrygo have filled in through the middle for Real in the past few weeks, and Benzema was also unable to link up with the France squad for their Nations League matches in September.

However, the striker used the extra rest in the international break to recover and was able to join in full training with his teammates earlier this week.

The La Liga champions will endeavour to continue their perfect start to the season in front of their own fans against Osasuna, and Ancelotti has given Blancos fans a timely fitness boost.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti on August 20, 2022© Reuters

Addressing the media in his pre-game press conference, the 63-year-old said: “It’s very good and it’s going to start tomorrow. He has trained well, this week he has done it with the team.

“His physical condition is very good because he has had time to recover and put energy into his legs. I see him very well and he is going to start.

“He hasn’t scored in the last few games because he hasn’t played. I don’t see anything weird about Karim. He has trained very well. He may not have done a full preseason and it affected him a bit. After this period we will see the usual Karim, who is a spectacular player.”

Prior to picking up his injury in the Champions League, Benzema notched up four goals and one assist in his first six outings of the season in all competitions for the capital side.

The former Lyon man now has 327 strikes and 160 assists to boast from 611 appearances in a Real Madrid shirt, but another one of Ancelotti’s experienced crop will not be available on Sunday.

Luka Modric in action for Real Madrid on September 14, 2022© Reuters

Midfielder Luka Modric returned from the Croatia camp with hip discomfort and will miss out on Sunday, and Ancelotti is also unsure of the 37-year-old’s availability for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk.

“Luka has had a little problem and it’s not a very serious thing. He is very fair to arrive for Wednesday. He will start training with the team on Monday. We have to see if he’s comfortable for Wednesday’s game and if he won’t play the next league game,” Ancelotti added.

Lucas Vazquez is also out with a thigh problem for Real Madrid, who are aiming to record a 10th consecutive victory in all competitions at the start of the 2022-23 campaign.

Los Blancos currently sit two points clear of Barcelona at the top of the standings, but Xavi‘s side can briefly rise to the summit with victory against Mallorca on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, Osasuna travel to the Bernabeu having made a bright start to the campaign themselves, recording four wins and two defeats from their opening six matches.

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