Paris (AFP) – Karim Benzema was passed fit to return to the Real Madrid starting line-up for Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg against Paris Saint-Germain, for whom Neymar was named among the substitutes.
Benzema, who is Real’s top scorer this season with 24 goals in all competitions, has missed his team’s last three matches since coming off in a 2-2 draw with Elche on January 23.
In his absence, Carlo Ancelotti’s side have scored just one goal and Gareth Bale came in from the cold in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Villarreal in La Liga, making his first appearance since August.
Bale drops back to the bench here as Ancelotti made three changes to his line-up, with Ferland Mendy and Luka Modric also returning and both Marcelo and Fede Valverde making way.
Neymar has not played for PSG since the end of November due to an ankle injury and was included on the bench as PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino selected Angel Di Maria alongside Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi up front.
Mbappe, who is PSG’s top scorer this season with 21 goals in total, has been tipped to move to Madrid when his contract expires at the end of the campaign.
The second leg will be played in Spain on March 9.
Paris Saint-Germain (4-3-3)
Gianluigi Donnarumma; Achraf Hakimi, Marquinhos (capt), Presnel Kimpembe, Nuno Mendes; Danilo Pereira, Leandro Paredes, Marco Verratti; Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria
Coach: Mauricio Pochettino (ARG)
Real Madrid (4-3-3)
Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, David Alaba, Ferland Mendy; Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Luka Modric; Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema (capt), Vinicius Junior
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti (ITA)
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- ‘Things change’ – Ceferin warns Europe’s old elite before Champions League final
- UEFA chief Ceferin calls on La Liga to stop criticism of PSG
- Liverpool’s Thiago, Fabinho fit for Champions League final
- Champions League Final on TV: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid details
- Ibrahimovic intends to continue playing, says Maldini
- Zinchenko wants to make Ukraine ‘proud’ in World Cup play-off
- Ukraine’s Andriy Yarmolenko to leave West Ham
- Mane promises ‘special’ answer over future at Liverpool
- Melbourne City aim to emulate Man City with back-to-back titles
- Euro glory would make Liverpool the best ever: McManaman