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SPORTS UPDATE

Ancelotti names R/Madrid squad for Mallorca clash

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has named his squad for Sunday’s La Liga clash against Mallorca, with Karim Benzema and Eder Militao both absent for the champions through injury.

Benzema picked up a thigh problem during the Champions League clash with Celtic on Tuesday evening, while Militao suffered a muscular issue in the team’s 3-0 victory.

As a result, the pair will be absent against Mallorca, but Ancelotti said during his pre-match press conference that Benzema could be back for the Madrid derby with Atletico Madrid next weekend.

“We will see if Benzema can play the derby on Sunday. If not he will not go with France,” Ancelotti told reporters. “They are things that can happen to footballers. Last year he also had a small problem in December and I think that we covered him well. Without him the team played well against Celtic.

“A natural replacement for Karim we do not have, because he is the best forward in the world. There is no substitute for him on the market, but you can substitute him with players with different characteristics.”

Eden Hazard replaced Benzema off the bench against Celtic, and Ancelotti has confirmed that the forward will be in the XI against Mallorca on Sunday.

“Hazard did well against Celtic. Tomorrow I will play him. Let’s hope he can have a great game,” said the Italian.

“Against Celtic, we did not have the same system. It might be that Hazard does not have the same run of goals that Karim has because it has been a while since he played. I am going to ask him to play well, as he did against Celtic, in order to maintain the good offensive attitude.”

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