Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti says Karim Benzema is ready to play a part in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg clash against Juventus at the Bernabeu.
The Frenchman has been absent through a knee injury in recent weeks and although he returned to training last week he did not play any part in the 2-2 draw against Valencia at the weekend.
The striker is set to face the Serie A champions, however, and Ancelotti will leave it until the last minute before deciding if he’ll start or come on from the bench.
“Benzema is available, he is 100 per cent and ready to play,” the Italian said at Tuesday’s press conference. “He had time to recover and he’s ready. He could play as a starter or come on later in the game, this is the decision I have to make. He is ready to play but hasn’t played a game in a month now.”
If Benzema is ready to start his inclusion will come at the expense of Javier Hernandez and will likely see Madrid play with a 4-3-3 with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale joining him in attack.
Ancelotti also refused to rule out Sergio Ramos playing in midfield again, despite the criticism he came in for after fielding the Spain international there in Turin.
The competition gives Madrid their best hope of winning a trophy this season after their Liga hopes faded at the weekend and the Italian says his side must stay calm.
“We have to stay calm, we are motivated and we want to play another final,” he said. “We need to play with intensity but remain concentrated at all times in the match.”