Real Madrid-Cornella Preview: Kroos and Benzema likely to miss second leg

The fatigue-plagued German midfielder could be rested, while Carlo Ancelotti admitted that his star striker suffered a blow to his leg during the weekend win over Malaga

Real Madrid will be without Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema when they host third-tier Cornella in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday.

The reigning champions thumped Cornella 4-1 in the first leg of their round of 32 tie last month and should have few problems against the Catalan minnows as they look to reach the final 16, although Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will have to tinker with his line-up.

The Italian said prior to the weekend’s meeting with Malaga that Kroos could be given a rest at the Santiago Bernabeu, while Benzema was replaced with 17 minutes remaining in Madrid’s record-breaking 2-1 win over Malaga on Saturday.

The victory was Madrid’s 16th in a row in all competitions – setting a new club-record winning streak.

“Benzema suffered a blow to his leg and was troubled a little bit. That’s why I took him off,” Ancelotti said after the match.

Cornella sit 12th in Segunda B in Spain and have not won in six matches in all competitions, including a 6-2 thumping at Atletico Baleares in the league on Saturday.

In the first leg, Raphael Varane scored twice for Madrid – either side of Oscar Munoz’s goal for Cornella – before Javier Hernandez and Marcelo struck in the second half for the capital club to wrap up the victory.

With a heavy advantage already in the bag, Ancelotti could choose to field players whose game-time has so far been restricted in 2014-15.

Midfielder Asier Illarramendi, on-loan forward Hernandez and homegrown defender Nacho are all expected to shuffle from the bench into the first team for the midweek clash.

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