Carlo Ancelotti

Real Madrid will return to La Liga action in December second in the table after they fell to defeat against Rayo Vallecano on Monday and Barcelona beat Osasuna the following night.

It has opened up a five point gap at the top of the table and means Real Madrid’s home tie with Cadiz has become an essential three points.

Carlo Ancelotti is likely to be once again missing two of his star players. Antonio Rudiger missed their defeat to Rayo with a muscle strain and will not recover in time to face Cadiz, although it is not expected to endanger his presence at the World Cup.

The case of Karim Benzema continues to rumble on too. The French forward appears to be a major doubt for the Cadiz match, as per Marca. It would make it four of the last five games in which he has not played, his only appearance coming for half an hour off the bench against Celtic.

Ancelotti has since said that Benzema is medically clear to play, but does not feel 100% fit. Grumbles in Madrid are growing in volume that it appears as if Benzema is prioritising the World Cup over Real Madrid.

At the time of writing, there is no way of verifying Benzema’s fitness – the only people that will know are the player and Real Madrid. However no doubt if Benzema begins the World Cup playing 90 minutes, those noises of discontent will grow in volume again. In the meantime, Ancelotti is without a crucial weapon in his bid to break through the Cadiz backline.

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