Benzema losing fitness battle for derby


Karim Benzema is reportedly losing his battle to be fit for Real Madrid’s La Liga clash with Atletico Madrid on Sunday night.
The 34-year-old has missed his side’s last two games against Mallorca and RB Leipzig due to the muscular problem that he picked up in the Champions League clash with Celtic on September 6.
Speaking ahead of the match with Leipzig on Wednesday, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti said that there was “a chance” of the France international returning for the Madrid derby.
“There’s a chance, as he is evolving well. But he’ll only play if there are no concerns at all,” the Italian told reporters during his press conference before the European affair.
Meanwhile, when asked about the striker after the match, Ancelotti said that he would be ‘evaluated over the next few days’ before a final decision was made.
“We’ll evaluate him over the coming days, but we’re not going to risk him for the derby if he’s not ready,” said the Italian on Wednesday night.
Real Madrid had a recovery training session on Thursday morning, with Benzema still absent, and according to journalist Carlos Rodriguez, the Frenchman is facing an uphill battle to be available this weekend.
Rodriguez claims that the forward is still working inside with a physiotherapist, and it ‘will be difficult’ for him to recover from his injury in time to take on Diego Simeone’s side.
Benzema has again been in strong form for Los Blancos during the 2022-23 campaign, scoring four goals and registering one assist in six appearances in all competitions.
Meanwhile, an impressive 2021-22 season saw the former Lyon youngster score 44 goals and register 15 assists in 46 appearances, helping his side win La Liga, the Champions League, and the Spanish Super Cup.