Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez has revealed that he will not risk aggravating the injuries of his key personnel ahead of the match against newly promoted Las Palmas.
The former Valencia, Liverpool, Inter Milan and Napoli manager has not selected key players including Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez, Keylor Navas, Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal in his squad to face Las Palmas on Saturday.
Kiko Casilla is expected to deputise in goal for Keylor Navas while the fit again Pepe will fill in for Ramos in Real Madrid’s central defence. Danillo, Jese Rodriguez and Isco will start instead of the injured trio of Carvajal, Bale and James respectively.
Benitez to rest key personnel for Las Palmas clash
Speaking to the media ahead of his side’s match on Saturday, Benitez provided an update on his injury stricken squad.
“Keylor has muscle fatigue and we are not going to risk him or any of the others who are close to returning,” said Benitez.
“We have a lot of matches left and we believe we have the resources to tackle the next game. Our priority is to do the best for (Real) Madrid and the players we have.
“I hope we see a good match, which we can win and which the fans can enjoy. We have to impose our quality, desire and ambition to win.
“It’s going to be a difficult game against a team with a new coach who will try to show his personality.”
a Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) October 30, 2015
Champions League clash against PSG the priority for Benitez
Benitez’s decision to rest key personnel is clearly influenced by his side’s upcoming clash against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League. Benitez will be hoping to have at least some of his injured stars available for the midweek clash against the French champions.
After the first meeting between these two sides ended in a dour 0-0 draw at Parc des Princes a couple of weeks ago, the winner of the this week’s clash will most likely determine who finishes first in the group. With this in mind, it is clear that Rafa Benitez is prioritising Real Madrid’s European engagement over this weekend’s match against a Las Palmas side that is currently placed third from the bottom .