Friday, July 28, 2017

Real Madrid v Malmo: Benitez thrilled to see ´BBC´ finding form

SoccerNews in La Liga 6 Dec 2015

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Real Madrid head coach Rafael Benitez is encouraged to see his ‘BBC’ strike-force on form ahead of their Champions League match at home to Malmo on Tuesday.

The Santiago Bernabeu side have won four consecutive matches since their thumping 4-0 loss to rivals Barcelona in El Clasico last month.

Madrid are appealing their disqualification from the Copa del Rey after fielding the ineligible Denis Cheryshev against Cadiz, but they have no such worries in the Champions League, with first place in Group A already secured before this final match.

That comfort means Benitez has the flexibility to make changes if he wishes after a 4-1 win over Getafe on Saturday that saw Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema (twice) and Cristiano Ronaldo all on target.

“Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema found each other and got themselves on the score-sheet and have every reason to feel pleased about that,” he said.

“By getting all three points with a great first-half display, we saw that when these players, who are so important to us, are getting into their stride and achieving good mutual coordination, they really hurt defences. 

“The three of them worked hard for the team and have every reason to feel pleased about that. It is important that they play well and score goals and that will help them keep their morale high.”

Benitez suggested Marcelo (groin) was likely to be fit to face Malmo, while also giving Danilo (foot) the all clear.

“I spoke to the doctor and he told me that Marcelo still didn’t have the all-clear,” he said.

“He completed the session before the game, which is always a more controlled session. On Saturday he trained and did well again, indicating that he will probably be available against Malmo, but the Getafe game was too early. 

“He is improving and what we want is to protect a player who first got injured and then did so again. Danilo had his foot trodden on and he felt it, but in the end it was nothing.”

Malmo still have a Europa League spot to play for in a game that will be Age Hareide’s last in charge of the club.

To finish third, they must secure a better result in Madrid than Shakhtar Donetsk get away to Paris Saint-Germain. If both sides lose, the Ukrainians will go through by virtue of their better head-to-head record.

Malmo defender Rasmus Bengtsson is suspended, while the fitness of goalkeeper Johan Wiland (head injury) will be determined ahead of kick-off.

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