Real Madrid to rest Benzema and start Morata against Deportivo

By Chris Myson 9 December 2016 264
Real Madrid to rest Benzema and start Morata against Deportivo

Real Madrid will rest Karim Benzema in their LaLiga match against Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday, with Alvaro Morata replacing him in the starting line-up.

Head coach Zinedine Zidane confirmed he would give Benzema a break after he missed training on Thursday, given he has a fully fit squad to choose from.

Madrid will travel to Japan for the Club World Cup next week and Zidane revealed there will also be other key names rested at the Santiago Bernabeu with their busy schedule in mind.

"Karim is fit but he is going to be rested," Zidane said at his pre-match media conference.

"We have got lots of games coming up. Everyone is fit and ready so he is going to be rested, as will a few other players.

"Alvaro will play. He is in good shape, improving with each day. He has been training hard and is really looking forward to playing."

Zidane, though, would not reveal whether James Rodriguez would start after his impressive display in Wednesday's Champions League draw against Borussia Dortmund.

However, he did insist the Colombia international would not be leaving in January despite having struggled to nail down a regular place in the team.

"James won't be leaving the club," added Zidane.

"I don't want James to leave, but for the match you are going to have to wait until Saturday for the starting line-up."

Zidane is expecting a difficult contest against Deportivo, who thrashed Real Sociedad 5-1 last time out, but sit down in 16th position. 

The Madrid boss continued: "I'm sure it's going to be a tough game, just look at their last game in the league. 

"It's a surprise to see them so far down the table but they are a good team, with good players. They are coming in on the back of a very good victory.

"It is our last league game of the year – we want to be ready and prepared to start well."

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Chris Myson