Benzema in Real Madrid squad for Clasico – Benitez

The Frenchman will return for the match against Barca after spending over a month out with a hamstring problem, while Sergio Ramos will start the game despite a shoulder injury

Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez confirmed Karim Benzema is fit for Saturday’s top of the table La Liga clash against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The French striker has been missing since sustaining a hamstring injury while on international duty in October, but trained with his team-mates on Thursday.

Speaking on Friday, Benitez confirmed Benzema is available, although he wouldn’t confirm if he would start the match.

“Benzema is in the squad,” the former Liverpool boss said at a press conference at the club’s Valdebebas training ground.

“He has trained well and we will decide tomorrow if he plays or not.”

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Madrid welcomed Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez back into action against Sevilla two weeks ago and Benitez is at last beginning to see the end of the club’s injury crisis.

Sergio Ramos will definitely play against Barca despite having to have injections to manage a shoulder problem, while Keylor Navas, who missed the Sevilla loss, could also start.

“Ramos will play the Clasico,” Benitez continued. “He’s the captain and he will be there.

“Keylor is getting better. He’s trained all week and he’s in the squad with all the others.

“It should be the second time this season that we have nearly everyone available for selection.

“We have all the players and the competitiveness between all of them – obviously we will play the strongest team we have because it is Barcelona.”

Madrid have home advantage for Saturday’s Clasico, but they go into the fixture three points back from Luis Enrique’s side.

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