Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema will not be part of the squad for the Champions League clash against Atalanta on Wednesday night due to injury.
The Frenchman injured his adductor muscle during the 2-1 win over Valencia on February 14 and subsequently missed the club’s 1-0 triumph at Real Valladolid.
An earlier report from AS said that the striker could miss the Atalanta clash in midweek despite the setback being on a minor one.
It is now revealed by Deportes Cuatro that the 33-year-old will not be travelling to Bergamo for the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie.
Los Blancos are already without several key players including Eden Hazard, Rodrygo Goes, Federico Valverde, Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal.
Hazard, Rodrygo and Valverde have returned to training after their respective injuries but the midweek game will come too soon for them.
Manager Zinedine Zidane is likely to travel with a number of Castilla players to make up the bench and the absence of Benzema will be a big blow.
The front three of Marco Asensio, Mariano Diaz and Vinicius Junior looked ineffective against Valladolid in La Liga last weekend.
They were just two shots on target throughout the 90 minutes and one of those was from midfielder Casemiro, who scored the only goal of the game.
Like last season, Benzema has been the sole player to reach double figures in goals and he has netted 16 times with the second-best being Casemiro with only six.
His absence definitely reduces the club’s efficiency in front of goal and that could benefit Atalanta, who are aiming to reach the quarter-final for the second year running.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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