Carlo Ancelotti says Karim Benzema will start against Shakhtar Donetsk

File photo of Karim Benzema.© AFP

Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that striker Karim Benzema is fit and will start for Real Madrid against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League ahead of Sunday’s Clasico against Barcelona. Benzema will lead the attack for Madrid in Warsaw on Tuesday, where Shakhtar play their home games amid Russia’s war against Ukraine. The striker missed Saturday’s 1-0 La Liga win at Getafe after appearing in two games following his comeback from a hamstring injury. Vinicius Junior may be rested for the Clasico.

“Vini is one of the players that I have to rate because he played everything. He played on Saturday night, we had the trip today, we have to rate it,” said Ancelotti.

“Karim is fine. We’re pretty sure he’ll start the game tomorrow. He’ll play, like (Toni) Kroos, (Ferland) Mendy, who are fresh and will play.”

Real Madrid top Group F and can qualify for the Round of 16 with a win over Shakhtar.

Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Lunin will start again against his home country side, although Ancelotti said Thibaut Courtois is feeling better after sciatica and could return for the Clasico.

“Andriy is quite shy. He’s not a person who talks too much, it’s normal that everything that happens affects him like it affects everyone in Ukraine,” said Ancelotti.

“The only thing we can do is offer solidarity. If he needs anything, we are here to help.”

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“He’s fine. He’s young. He has a lot of quality. These games help him gain experience and knowledge, which is the only thing he needs because he has the qualities of a great goalkeeper.”

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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