It will be Karim Benzema and nobody else for Real Madrid at the No. 9 position when they travel to Los Carmenes.
Real Madrid already knew they wouldn’t have Luka Jovic on Monday against Granada. He came into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and needed to self-isolate as a precaution. Jovic has still tested negative, but he won’t be available for this game.
He isn’t the only striker who will be missing, though. According to a report from Carlos Forjanes of AS, the third-string option, Mariano Diaz, will also be missing against Granada. Mariano is dealing with muscle discomfort and will not be able to make the trip to Los Carmenes with the rest of his teammates.
That leaves Karim Benzema as the only true striker option who is healthy, and there are questions about just how healthy he is. Benzema was seen dealing with some hamstring discomfort after being subbed off against Alaves, during which he provided another masterclass with a penalty goal and an assist in the 2-0 win.
The all-important 32-year-old striker will push through any pain and becomes even more crucial to Real Madrid with both Mariano and Jovic unavailable.
Should Zinedine Zidane need to turn to his bench for a striker option, he can have two ideas. Firstly, Brahim Diaz can play as a false nine and is a talented young player with an eye for goal. Madridistas have been wanting to see Brahim receive more chances, especially amidst rumors he could rejoin Manuel Pellegrini at Real Betis.
Zidane could also use right winger Marco Asensio at striker, as he has great strength, intelligent movement, and a powerful left-footed shot that is capable of scoring delicious goals from anywhere near the penalty box.
Real have gotten through more difficult injury situations than this one, but they won’t take their opponents lightly. Granada are three points away from being in a Europa League place.