Ten time European champions Real Madrid take on French champions Paris Saint-Germain in a heavyweight clash at the iconic Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Matchday 4 of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
The Matchday 3 clash between the two European giants at the Parc des Princes a couple of weeks ago eventually turned out to be a damp squib as both sides cancelled each other out. Both sides currently sit at 7 points from 3 matches in Group A and are yet to concede a goal in Europe this season.
Real Madrid were without four of their regular front six players when the sides first met in Paris two weeks ago. Manager Rafa Benitez provided the latest injury updates on his squad ahead of the crucial top of the table clash against PSG on Tuesday.
James, Ramos return to the squad; Bale, Benzema still out injured
Speaking to the media after his team’s training session at the Santiago Bernabeu on Monday, Benitez revealed that Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez is back in the Real Madrid squad after being out injured for more than two months.
“He is on the list, he is better. And to avoid misinterpretation I am going to make this clear: He has been recovering for some time,” Benitez said (via ESPNFC). “He is missing the rhythm of competition and he is available although that doesn’t mean that he will be a starter.”
“It is fine that Colombia recall him [James], he will go because the rules state as such. The only thing I hope is that he scores many goals and returns healthy,” he added.
Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has also been cleared to play against PSG.
However, Bale and Benzema have not recovered from their injuries and will not feature on Tuesday.
“[Benzema] is up to the [recovery] stage expected but he is not on the list because he still needs to build up his confidence for a match at this level,” Benitez said. “He continues to improve but this is a match of much intensity and importance.”
Luka Modric, who was taken off at halftime in Saturday’s 3-1 home win over Las Palmas, may also miss out.
Bale, Benzema absence likely to inhibit Real Madrid’s attacking potential
The return of James Rodriguez to the Los Blancos squad will add a creative edge to the Real Madrid attack. However, having been out injured for more than two months, James will most likely start on the bench and is expected to have a minimal impact on the proceedings on the field.
However, the absence of Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema will have a major impact on Real Madrid’s attacking output. Without the services of Benzema and Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure throughout the match against PSG two weeks ago. Their attacking forays into the PSG defence will be missed on Tuesday.
a Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) November 2, 2015