Real Madrid face Sevilla without Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale in the league, but are strengthened by the return of Karim Benzema.
Real Madrid (Photo credit: Reuters)
Madrid: Real Madrid will be without captain Sergio Ramos and striker Gareth Bale on Saturday against Sevilla. However, the return of top scorer Karim Benzema, who has recovered from a muscle strain, is an important factor.
Despite the training on Friday, Ramos and Bale were excluded from the 19-man squad of coach Zinedine Zidane. Eden Hazard still has an ankle injury that he contracted in November.
French striker Benzema, who is responsible for 12 of Real's 36 league goals this season, is expected to get back into action after missing the triumphant Spanish Super Cup season in Saudi Arabia with muscle problems.
Ramos complained of an ankle injury after scoring the winning goal against Atletico Madrid in the penalty shootout on Sunday, but returned to full training and was unable to attend his former club.
Bale, who missed the Super Cup due to a breast infection, was a surprise since he had been training with the team all week.
The game is the first game by Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui at Santiago Bernabeu since Real released him in October 2018.
Zidane praised Ramos for his determination to get fit again.
"We all know that Ramos has a lot of character, he always wants to play and has worked hard all week to be able to play. He is our leader, our point of reference and a role model for everyone else to follow," said he.
Real is second in the La Liga, with a 40 point advantage over leaders Barca. The win over Seville would give them a three-point advantage for at least 24 hours as the Catalans face Granada in their first game under new coach Quique Setien on Sunday.
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