Real Madrid’s Bale, Benzema to miss PSG tie

Madrid, Nov 2 (IANS) Real Madrid will be without forwards Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema for the European Champions League group stage match against Paris Saint-Germain here on Tuesday night as the duo failed to recover from their respective injuries in time.

Welshman Bale is still struggling from a calf injury which he picked up in the first game following the international football break three weeks ago, while Benzema has not played since early October as the result of a calf injury he suffered while playing for France, reports Xinhua.

Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez will also miss out because of his thigh injury, but the good news for Real is that Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas is available after missing Saturday’s 3-1 home win over Las Palmas in the La Liga as the result of a slight muscle strain.

Defender Sergio Ramos, whose shoulder was rested at the weekend, should be able to start, while Croatian midfieder Luka Modric will also face the French side after being taken off at halftime on Saturday.

Real will be confident of taking all three points at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium here and virtually assuring they finish top of their qualifying group after a 0-0 draw in Paris a fortnight ago.

Rafael Benitez’s side were hardly stretched against Las Palmas on Saturday and the head coach will have been pleased at a second half in which his side didn’t need to spend too much energy and he was able to rotate his squad.

PSG had the advantage of playing their French league game on Friday and arrive in Spain after 24 hours more rest.

Tuesday also sees Sevilla entertain Manchester City in a vital game. Sevilla know they need to win at home to the leaders of the English Premier League (EPL) in order to progress out of their group, while City arrive with two wins and a defeat from their three group matches.

Sevilla were unlucky to lose in England a fortnight ago and will hope their fans can spur them on against a rival still without Sergio “Kun” Aguero, which tends to be overly conservative when playing big games away from home.

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