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Real Madrid dealt major personnel blow ahead of Elche

Carlo Ancelotti

Real Madrid to face Elche without key striker

Spanish giants Real Madrid head into the weekend fixture programme set to face 15th-placed Elche away from the Spanish capital, but will be bereft of Karim Benzema as they look to move back to the top of the La Liga table ahead of Real Sociedad.

Benzema has not been called upon for Saturday, causing speculation around the situation involving the French international center-forward.

But according to Spanish outlet AS, Carlo Ancelotti is simply giving Benzema a much-needed rest in a fixture from which Madrid should be able to come away with three points without the former Olympique Lyonnais standout.

Benzema has logged an incredible amount of minutes thus far during the 2021-22 season, both at home and abroad, racking up 1,156 out of a possible 1,170-minutes, which constitutes 99% of the possible amount of time he could have served on the pitch.

Benzema on course for a career year

There is no better overall striker in Europe this season than Karim Benzema, as the Frenchman has helped Real Madrid headline the La Liga season.

His 9-goals are second in Europe behind only Robert Lewandowski and Mohamed Salah (10), while his 7-assists are joint-top in Europe with Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.

Real Madrid dealt major personnel blow ahead of Elche

27 October 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia, Mönchengladbach: Football: Champions League, Group stage, Group B, 2nd matchday, Borussia Mönchengladbach – Real Madrid at the stadium in Borussia-Park. Karim Benzema (r) of Madrid cheers after his goal for the 2:1. Photo: Marius Becker/dpa (Photo by Marius Becker/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Additionally, the Lyon-native has 2-goals and an assist in Champions League group stage play, and currently sits on nineteen direct goal contributions (11-goals and 8-assists) in just 13-appearances across the two competitions.

Such a statistical return will undoubtedly be missed against Elche, and could potentially throw a spanner in the works for Madrid, as his overall influence on the pitch this season continues to cement Benzema’s legacy as one of the continent’s premier center-forwards.

This article was edited by Conor Laird.