Monday, October 21, 2019

Benzema fit to face Sevilla despite broken finger, Solari confirms

SoccerNews in La Liga 18 Jan 2019

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Santiago Solari has confirmed Karim Benzema is fit to face Sevilla in Saturday’s crucial LaLiga clash despite suffering from a broken finger.

French striker Benzema sustained the injury during Sunday’s 2-1 win against Real Betis at the Benito Villamarin, falling heavily on his right hand.

After receiving medical attention, he was unable to continue and was replaced by Cristo Gonzalez, who made his LaLiga debut in the process.

Solari confirmed after the match that the injury was a fractured finger, though he was unsure about whether it would require surgery or not.

However, speaking at his pre-match news conference on Friday, the coach plans to include him in the squad for the visit of Sevilla, convinced he is well enough to participate as Madrid look to move above Pablo Machin’s men in the table.

“Karim has an injury to his little finger,” Solari told reporters. “We don’t see it as a problem for his football career, not for this weekend, nor in the future.

“He has trained well, he is feeling good. Sure, we’d be happier if he hadn’t been injured, but it’s fine.

“He is our reference in the forward line. Besides, he is having a great year individually. I think he is playing very good, so he is our strongest point in attack.

“He is helping us a lot, he is very generous, not just in his football, but also his commitment. Of course, we are very happy having him this weekend and we wish he won’t leave us [injured] again.”

Wednesday’s 1-0 Copa del Rey last-16 second-leg defeat to Leganes did not stop Madrid progressing to the next round, thanks to their 3-0 triumph in the first leg.

The match also saw Isco make a rare start, having fallen out of favour under Solari.

The coach has constantly had to field questions about the playmaker in the last couple of months, and he showed his frustration about that.

“I have answered more than 100 questions about Isco,” Solari said. “He is a great player, like the rest, they all have the same options to play.”

It was also put to Solari that Marcelo is enduring a difficult season, and he again side-stepped the line of questioning.

“Marcelo is the most decorated full-back in world football over the last decade,” he said. “We work with all the players so that they are at their best.”

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