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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Stephen Killen

Carlo Ancelotti addresses Karim Benzema concern and admits Real Madrid have a 'more serious' injury problem

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has eased concerns over the fitness of Karim Benzema ahead of their looming Champions League last-16 showdown with Liverpool.

The Ballon d'Or winner limped off during Los Blancos' win over Valencia as they look to chase down La Liga leaders Barcelona - the three points clawed back the deficit with their fierce rivals at the top of the table to just five.

Vinicius Jr, who was on the receiving end of a horror tackle from former Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista, was on the scoresheet but his Brazilian compatriot Eder Militao also added to the Italian head coach's injury concerns.

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However, the 63-year-old allayed fears that both Benzema and Militao could miss the first leg against the Reds.

"Benzema is nothing major. The injury to Militao is more serious. [He] will not be available at the weekend against Mallorca," Ancelotti said.

The central defender has missed just three La Liga outings all season and as the Real Madrid manager admitted, he won't be available for their trip to Mallorca with the timeframe of his absence uncertain.

Liverpool host the Spanish side on February 21 and Benzema's worry is the latest injury problem he has had this season. He has already missed seven La Liga games for Los Blancos and was ruled out of the World Cup following a thigh injury.

The Ballon d'Or holder was lauded for his role in helping Madrid to the Champions League final following his inspirational contributions against the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. Despite his troubles this season, he has nine goals in 12 league games.

Dani Carvajal and Aurelien Tchouameni were welcomed back to the squad following their enforced time away but Ancelotti will have to make do without Ferland Mendy who has been ruled out until April.


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