Real Madrid

It’s unclear whether Karim Benzema will be fit to start for Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday, but Aurélien Tchouaméni is definitely out.

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti says he’ll make a late call on Karim Benzema’s involvement in Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Celtic, as Los Blancos bid to guarantee Group F top spot with a win.

Benzema in Real Madrid squad but may not start

Benzema has returned to Madrid’s squad for the matchday-six game at the Bernabéu, but Ancelotti told reporters on Tuesday: “I’ll have to decide whether he starts or only plays a part of the game – we’ll see after training.”

Benzema has missed Madrid’s last three matches in all competitions, having initially been ruled out of last month’s LaLiga win over Sevilla with “muscle fatigue” in his right thigh. So far, injury has sidelined the 34-year-old for seven of Madrid’s 18 games this season.

If Benzema is unable to start against Celtic, Ancelotti is expected to name the same front three that began Sunday’s league draw with Girona. Rodrygo Goes would again deputise for the Ballon d’Or holder at centre-forward.

Hazard, Tchouaméni ruled out

Meanwhile, Eden Hazard and Aurélien Tchouaméni have been left out of Madrid’s matchday group, with both players struggling with muscle issues. In the absence of Tchouaméni, who also missed the Girona game, Eduardo Camavinga is likely to keep his place at the base of the midfield.

Éder Militão is set to return in central defence against Celtic, having been rested at the weekend. It’s possible Ferland Mendy will drop to the bench, with David Alaba shifting from centre-back to take the Frenchman’s place at left-back.

Possible Real Madrid lineup vs Celtic:

Courtois, Carvajal, Militão, Rüdiger, Mendy/Alaba, Modric, Camavinga, Kroos, Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinícius.

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