Champions League

Bale, Benzema to miss PSG clash

2015-11-02 16:05
Karim Benzema (AFP)

Madrid - Real Madrid will be without Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema for their crucial Champions League clash against French champions Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

Both players failed to train with the rest of the squad on Monday and won't be risked ahead of Sunday's trip to Sevilla having spent several weeks on the sidelines.

Bale has been suffering from a recurring calf problem, while Benzema hasn't featured since injuring his hamstring on international duty with France three weeks ago.

"Benzema is on course with the expectations we had. He isn't in the squad because he, like Bale, lacks the confidence to play a game of this level," Madrid coach Rafael Benitez said on Monday.

"He is continuing to improve, but this will be a match of high intensity and importance."

The good news on the injury front for Benitez is the return of James Rodriguez to the squad for the first time in two months.

Rodriguez was also injured on international duty and Benitez admitted there is little the club can do to stop the top scorer at the 2014 World Cup being called up by his national team again this week.

"He has been recovering for a long time and he lacks the rhythm of competition. He is available, but that doesn't mean he is going to start.

"If he is fit and Colombia call him up, he will go. The only thing I hope is that he scores a lot of goals and returns healthy."

Keylor Navas and Sergio Ramos are expected to come back into the Madrid side after also missing Saturday's 3-1 win over Las Palmas due to injury.

However, Luka Modric remains a doubt with the hip injury that forced him off at half-time in that game.

Tuesday's clash at the Santiago Bernabeu brings together Europe's two remaining unbeaten teams this season.

PSG were much criticised for their cautious approach against a vastly under-strength Madrid side in a 0-0 draw in Paris two weeks ago.

Should there be a winner in the Spanish capital, they will take a huge step towards sealing their place in the last 16 as group winners.

However, Benitez is well aware of the threat Laurent Blanc's men pose of inflicting his first defeat since taking charge at the Bernabeu in June.

"The quality of the players and the team PSG have, is undeniable," he added.

"They are growing every year and they have exceptional potential. It is a very difficult game and we need to be fully concentrated to do well."

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