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'We can win El Clasico without Benzema' – Real Madrid boss Ancelotti refuses to reveal who will replace striker against Barcelona

18:44 GMT 19/03/2022
Karim Benzema Real Madrid
Madrid's Champions League hero will be unavailable at the weekend due to injury

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has insisted his team can beat arch-rivals Barcelona without Karim Benzema in Sunday's Clasico.

The French striker will miss the clash after he picked up an injury that even ruled him out of action for his country.

Madrid currently sit in first place in the table with 66 points, 10 points ahead of second-placed Sevilla, while Barcelona are in third place with 51 points, having played a game fewer than their rivals.

What has been said?

"Yes, I think so, we can do it," Ancelotti told reporters when asked if Madrid could prevail without their star striker.

"He's obviously an important part of this team, but he usually gets the job done and we now have to keep that job and look for other solutions upstairs."

Ancelotti also said on Benzema: "He is a player who is 34 years old and sometimes it can happen to him. They are very minor annoyances and he has recovered very quickly. 

"When he has come back, he has made a difference. We have another two weeks to work with him and then he will make a difference again. 

"He doesn't worry me that he won't play tomorrow because we have time for him to play at the end of the season and make a difference."

What will Madrid miss?

Benzema has made 34 appearances across all competitions for Madrid this season, scoring 32 times and notching 13 assists.

His presence up front has allowed others to flourish alongside him, particularly Vinicius Jr who himself has 17 goals and 14 assists.

Ancelotti will have to come up with a tactical masterplan to ensure Madrid can still have the firepower needed to dispose of Barcelona.

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