Karim Benzema out of Real Madrid Champions League return with Atlético

Real Madrid will be without their striker Karim Benzema for the Champions League quarter-final return against their fierce city rivals Atlético on Wednesday.The loss of their centre-forward for the must-win tie comes amid an unexpected injury crisis for the European champions who lost Gareth Bale and Luka Modric in the 3-1 victory over Málaga on Saturday, a game missed by Benzema.He picked up the injury on Tuesday and on Friday he seemed to be doing well. Then on Saturday and Sunday he hasn’t improved,” the coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “He had a swollen knee and he hasn’t been able to recover.We have to cope with injuries, we have had them before like in the semi-finals last year. We have been without Bale, Cristiano [Ronaldo] or Xabi Alonso in the past. This is not going to affect our confidence.Real will be also missing their left-back Marcelo, who is suspended after a late booking in the first leg, and is set to be replaced by Fábio Coentrão.

Karim Benzema

Real Madrid, who face Atlético at the Santiago Bernabéu having drawn the first leg 0-0, may now turn to Javier Hernández to fill the gap left by Benzema.The on-loan Manchester United striker came on for Bale after five minutes of the Málaga match and set up Ronaldo for Real’s third goal.Chicharito has been doing well in games and looked physically strong against Málaga,” Ancelotti said.Real put out a statement saying: “Following tests carried out on Karim Benzema at the La Moraleja Sanitas Hospital by Real Madrid Medical services, he has been found to have a sprain to the medial collateral ligament of his right knee. His situation will be monitored.”