Ancelotti not ruling out 'tired' Benzema ahead of Getafe trip

By Sports Desk October 07, 2022

Carlo Ancelotti acknowledges Karim Benzema is "a bit tired" following his return from injury, but has refused to rule out using the striker when Real Madrid face Getafe on Saturday.

Benzema missed three weeks after sustaining a thigh injury in the Champions League win over Celtic last month, returning to Los Blancos' side for last week's 1-1 draw with Osasuna.

The France striker crashed a late penalty against the crossbar in that match as Madrid dropped points for the first time this season in LaLiga, and also failed to impress in Wednesday's 2-1 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk.

Benzema failed to score despite recording eight shots totalling 0.93 expected goals (xG) in that contest, and Spanish media reports had suggested he was doubtful for the trip to Getafe.

However, Ancelotti insists Benzema has not been ruled out of Saturday's game, saying: "Benzema has played two full games after being out for a month, he's a bit tired. 

"He's not ruled out. If he's fine tomorrow, he can play. I see the usual Karim, we don't have to worry. 

"It may be that he rests in Getafe, we'll see, we don't want to force anything."

Ancelotti revealed only two players had asked him for a rest during his long coaching career, adding: "The players are not so honest when they are tired. 

"I prefer that they tell me that they are loaded and avoid injuries, but it has only happened to me twice in 30 years: Pepe and [Clarence] Seedorf." 

If Benzema does feature on Saturday, he will look to extend a fine run of form on the road. The Ballon d'Or favourite has scored nine away goals in LaLiga in 2022, more than any other player, finding the net in six of his last nine away appearances.

Ancelotti offered a positive update on the fitness of Thibaut Courtois, who has missed Madrid's last two games due to a hernia issue, confirming he should be available for next week's Clasico meeting with Barcelona.

"Courtois is improving from his inflammation, it's getting better," he said. "We'll see if he gets to Warsaw [to face Shakhtar on Tuesday], but he'll be safe in the Clasico."

Ancelotti was also asked about the future of midfielder Toni Kroos, who is yet to sign an extension to his Madrid contract, which expires next year.

The Italian coach is relaxed about the situation, though, adding: "Kroos never gets angry, he never feels the pressure. Sometimes I ask him if he's nervous, and he always says no. 

"The renewal is in his hands, if he wants to renew, Real Madrid will be very happy."

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