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Ancelotti-‘ Real Madrid won’t Risk Benzema’

Ancelotti: Real Madrid won’t risk Benzema Los Blancos take on Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey on Thursday.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has hinted that striker Karim Benzema may not make the Copa del Rey match against Athletic Club and insists he won’t take any chances with the Frenchman’s fitness.

Real Madrid travels to Bilbao on Thursday for the Copa del Rey quarter-final against Athletic Club at San Mames, though Ancelotti wasn’t giving too much away in terms of his team selection ahead of the big game.


Soccer Football – LaLiga – Valencia v Real Madrid – Mestalla, Valencia, Spain – September 19, 2021 Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti reacts REUTERS/Pablo Morano

Ancelotti told the press.

“We don’t know yet [about Benzema]; he’s been doing individual work. He’s feeling good, and after training, we’ll decide.

“We won’t take risks. If Benzema gets the all-clear from the medical team, he can play; if not, someone else will. So it doesn’t depend on [the Champions League].

“As I said, we’re not going to take risks because it’s not a Champions League final.

“He knows that, and if he’s not feeling good, he won’t play. But we’re not thinking about [the Paris Saint-Germain] game.”

There are also question marks surrounding the possible participation of Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior as they have been on international duty with Brazil this week.

“We’ll need to look at it today if the players are just tired from travelling because if they don’t start, I may need them during the game,” said Ancelotti.

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“Vini and Rodrygo indeed return [on Wednesday], but they are 20-years-old, not 60 like me. But Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard are ready.”

History favours Real Madrid.

Athletic Club has beaten Real Madrid twice in the last decade, most recently in the 2021 Supercopa de Espana semi-final. Still, Ancelotti knows the expect a challenging game from the side that eliminated Barcelona in the last 16.

“It’s a significant game for us. We’re looking forward to it,” said Ancelotti

“It’s a challenging game with an extraordinary atmosphere, and we’ll need to be at our best.

“We’ve played against them several times this season, and I think it will be a tight game.

“To win at San Mames, you have to be at your best.”

Likewise, for more football news like this, click here.

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