Real vs Atletico: Benzema is fit and will play, says Ancelotti

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has recovered from a leg injury and will be available for Sunday’s La Liga derby at home to Atletico Madrid, manager Carlo Ancelotti has said.

“Benzema trained well with his team mates and will play.” Ancelotti told a news conference on Saturday.

Real is currently cruising in top spot, eight points clear of second-placed Sevilla and 10 above Atletico in fourth, albeit having played a game more than those two rivals.

“Until today we have shown that we have done better than the other teams. So far we have done better, but we are concerned about the future, not the past.” Ancelotti said.

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The Italian expects a close match as his team look for a 10th straight win in all competitions to tighten its grip on top spot by beating last year’s champions.

“We are two teams that use the counter-attack a lot. The challenges, the set pieces … they can be very important aspects in this game,” Ancelotti added.

“Atletico are a very strong rival. It is a very, very difficult game for both teams. I think it is going to be a good match, that the fans of both will love.”

Atletico coach Diego Simeone agreed.

“They (Real) are in a great moment. They have shown with the arrival of Ancelotti a defensive power that enhances all their offensive weapons.” he told a news conference.

“I know that in our last ten games, they won four and we tied six. But we were always competitive. They know that on Sunday they won’t have an easy game.”

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