Barcelona have been handed a major boost ahead of the El Clasico this weekend as Karim Benzema does not train with the group, and is therefore ruled out of the game, as per Sergio Quirante.
Benzema picked up an injury vs RCD Mallorca last weekend, but was expected to make it back in time for the Barcelona clash. Especially because Madrid were already going to miss Ferland Mendy, who was subbed out in the same game because of an injury.
Eventually, the Frenchman missed training yesterday despite positive results from tests. And today, he trained individually.
This does not particularly come as a shock given Madrid have a crucial Champions League fixture coming up against Chelsea on the 6th of April. It would be their priority that Benzema comes back in time for that game, even if he has to miss the Clasico.
Barcelona are the second-most in form team in the European top five leagues over the last ten games, collecting 24 points during that timeline. Their rivals for the weekend, Real Madrid, sit third in this table with 23.
Further, both teams are coming off encouraging European ties. While Barcelona beat Galatasaray to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Europa League, Madrid produced a magical comeback vs Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16.
Tomorrow’s game sets up to be one of the most promising Clasicos in years, but one can’t help but think how much more exciting it could have been with arguably the best player in the world right now.