Eden Hazard will replace the injured Karim Benzema when Real Madrid and RCD Mallorca face off at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
Real Madrid will aim to firmly remain atop La Liga when they play hosts to RCD Mallorca at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday afternoon in their second successive home game. And Carlo Ancelotti has a couple of pressing injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his team’s latest fixture.
Karim Benzema is the latest absentee for Real Madrid after sustaining an injury in the midweek win over Celtic in the UEFA Champions League. The Real Madrid captain might spend a couple of weeks on the sidelines. Another pivotal player unavailable to take on Mallorca is Eder Militao, with the Brazilian defender recovering from a hamstring injury.
During his pre-match press conference, Ancelotti spoke about how he will treat Benzema’s injury and insisted that he will not rush the Real Madrid captain back into action. The Real Madrid boss also spoke about how Los Blancos will cope with the Frenchman’s absence and confirmed Eden Hazard’s place in the starting lineup against Mallorca.
Ancelotti said, “We won’t rush Benzema back. He won’t play on Wednesday and then we’ll see if we can get him back for the derby. If he doesn’t play then, I don’t think he’ll join up with France. Karim scores a lot of goals and that helped us to win several trophies last year. If we’re waiting on a player’s fitness that’s a positive thing, it’s not negative.”
“This team has real quality up top with Vini Jr., Rodrygo, Hazard, Asensio and Mariano in certain games, he’s very good in the air. We have loads of resources to continue our decent run. We don’t have a natural replacement for the best centre forward in the world. There is no substitute for him on the market, but he can be replaced by other players with different attributes.”
“We won’t change our system just because Benzema is out. Hazard will play tomorrow. He hasn’t got the goalscoring streak like Karim, it’s been a long time since he’s played and I won’t ask that of him. We mustn’t lose the good run we’re on in front of goal, we’re linking up well and moving nicely. We don’t need to change anything.”
Ancelotti will continue to utilise his trusted 4-3-3 formation, with Thibaut Courtois picking himself between the sticks. The injured Eder Militao will make way for Antonio Rudiger, who will pair up with David Alaba at the heart of the Real Madrid defence. Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy will start as the two full-backs.
Up ahead in midfield, Luka Modric might benefit from getting some rest, with Eduardo Camavinga in line to take his place alongside Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni in the midfield unit. Hazard will start through the middle, with Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo Goes being the two wide attacker for Real Madrid against Mallorca.
Predicted Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Camavinga, Tchouameni, Kroos; Rodrygo, Hazard, Vinicius Jr.