Carlo Ancelotti names Real Madrid squad for Mallorca clash

Eder Militao, Alvaro Odriozola and Karim Benzema are missing from the Real Madrid squad for Sunday’s clash with Mallorca.

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.”

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema pictured on September 6, 2022© Reuters

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.”

Jesus Vallejo is also back in the squad, with the centre-back recovering from the muscular problem that had kept him on the sidelines for the last three matches.

However, Alvaro Odriozola is still struggling with injury, so the Spaniard has been left out of the squad.

Thibaut Courtois in action for Real Madrid on August 10, 2022© Reuters

Thibaut Courtois‘s involvement had been in doubt after he picked up a small issue with his knee during a training session, but the Belgium international is in the squad for the contest.

“He (Courtois) had a small problem in his knee and did not train that day. But he will play tomorrow. Courtois trained today, he’s fine. His problem was minor,” the Italian added.

Militao’s absence could open the door for Antonio Rudiger to start alongside David Alaba in the middle of the defence, while Ancelotti could rotate his midfield, with Luka Modric potentially being rested.

Rodrygo could also come in for a start in the final third of the field, with Real Madrid facing two more games before the September international break, taking on RB Leipzig in the Champions League and Atletico Madrid in La Liga.

Real Madrid squad vs. Mallorca:

Courtois, Lunin, Lopez; Carvajal, Alaba, Vallejo, Nacho, Rudiger, Mendy; Kroos, Modric, Camavinga, Valverde, Vazquez, Tchouameni, Ceballos; Hazard, Asensio, Vinicius, Rodrygo, Mariano

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