Real Madrid might take an unnecessary risk before PSG fixture

Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid must prepare with caution for their heated Champions League Round of 16 fixture at the Parc des Princes against PSG. That battle will take place on Feb. 15, and Madridistas surely have not forgotten the last embarrassment they were handed at that very venue in 2019.

Los Blancos were knocked out of the Copa del Rey on Thursday night in an atrocious performance that had fans asking serious questions about the decisions Carlo Ancelotti made. They lost that match without left back Ferland Mendy and striker Karim Benzema, with the latter’s absence looming largest.

Benzema suffered an injury and had pushed to play, but Ancelotti wisely did not risk him, keeping in mind the match against PSG later in February.

But now, there is a chance some of that work is undone. Real Madrid will play Granada in LaLiga this Sunday, already without all-important winger Vinicius Jr., who is suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card in the previous LaLiga fixture vs. Elche.

Karim Benzema should not play for Real Madrid vs. Granada

According to Manu de Juan of AS, there is a chance Karim Benzema could play for Real Madrid vs. Granada this weekend, making his return from injury.

Perhaps Benz will be back, but perhaps it is too soon and he risks aggravation. This season, Benzema is facing more stress than ever on his body, as he has returned to the French national team. That is fantastic news, but it means Madrid must be more careful with managing his fitness. Already, we are seeing more issues with fatigue and injury.

Ancelotti must read the signs. Next weekend after Granada, Real face an even tougher team in LaLiga, Villarreal. And then a few days later, PSG. Benzema can rest for a week, get some minutes against the Yellow Submarine, and then be as close to fully ready as possible for PSG.

Real Madrid need Benzema, yes. So it is understandable if fans – and the club itself – want the Pichichi favorite back in the starting lineup as soon as possible. Every point matters in this title race with Sevilla, of course.

But Real must learn how to score, how to win, without Benz and Vini. They must learn to trust Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, and others, even if only out of necessity.

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Above all else, they must beat PSG in the Champions League. There is too much at stake in terms of pride, finances, and overall goals in that competition – against that specific opponent, no less. And without Benzema at his best, it is hard to see Real beating the expected Ligue 1 champions.