Karim Benzema out of Real Madrid’s trip to Rayo Vallecano

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has confirmed Karim Benzema will not be available for Sunday’s trip to Rayo Vallecano.

Los Blancos will take on bottom-placed side Rayo without their top scorer after he was absent in this morning’s training session.

Real later announced that Benzema had sustained a muscular injury in the left bicep femoris following medical examinations.

The loss of Benzema will come as a great blow for Real as the Frenchman has scored their last eight goals. Furthermore, he’s only failed to make the line-up once all season in La Liga.

“Karim won’t be involved and we’ll put out a side to try and hurt them and win the game. I’m not going to say how we’re going to set up,” said Zidane on the club website.

Captain Sergio Ramos and Alvaro Odriozola will continue to be sidelined this weekend. Although Vinicius Junior was seen training at Real’s Valdebebas ground with the team.

The 18-year-old winger sustained a torn calf ligament in his right leg in March, but appears to be edging closer to his comeback.

And Zidane suggested that next weekend’s home game against Villarreal could be Vinicius’ comeback game.

“He still needs to do some more work after being out through injury for two months and he needs another week of training under his belt,” said the French coach.

“He won’t be involved against Rayo. He’s gradually doing better in training and upping the tempo, but he’s still not there because after two months… He wants to train and improve and that’s positive.

“He’ll have next week to train and we’ll have to see what happens ahead of the Villarreal game.”

After being held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at Getafe mid-week, Real are being tipped to return to winning way at Rayo.

‎Los Franjirrojos have been on a dreadful run of form lately, with just one win and 10 defeats in their last 13 games. Last time out, Sevilla even thrashed them 5-0. Therefore, Rayo have dropped to the bottom of La Liga and could be relegated on Sunday.

But Zidane warned his squad to not take them lightly.

“If you want to put points on the board nowadays, you have to play with high intensity. That’s how we performed against Getafe and we want to do the same against Rayo,” he said.

“Of late, we’ve faced sides who have had a lot to play for. For example, Getafe the other night, and now Rayo, who are battling to stay up”.

“We know just how motivated Rayo will be and they’ll try and do their best. Judging by their games, they’re a side that never give up and we’ll have to be at our best if we’re to get a good result”.

The Rayo Vallecano and Real Madrid match will begin at 20:45 (CET).

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