Zidane leaves Karim Benzema from Real Madrid for the Champions League draw against Atalanta

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Image source: GETTY IMAGES

File photo of Karim Benzema (left) with Zinedine Zidane.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has not included striker Karim Benzema in the 19-man squad for his country’s Champions League in the 16th away match against Atalanta on Wednesday night.

The striker, who has scored 17 goals in all competitions this season, has yet to recover from a slight rupture of his left abduction muscle, which protected him from Real Madrid’s close 1-0 victory in Valladolid on Saturday.

He was replaced by Mariano Diaz over the weekend, and the 27-year-old is likely to lead the Real Madrid line again on Wednesday night, Xinhua reported.

Benzema is not the only player Zidane will be missing on Wednesday with club captain Sergio Ramos, who has yet to be sent off after undergoing minor knee surgery, while the absence of Danny Carvajal and Alvaro Odriozola will also be missed along with central defender Eder Militao, Rodrigo , Fede Valverde and Eden Hazard.

The long list of injuries means that Zidane again had to call players from the B-team of Real Madrid, as defender Victor Chust, Miguel Gutierrez, Antonio Blanco, Jesus Aribas and Hugo Duro also travel.

Both midfielder Aribas and striker Douro came on Saturday as second-half substitutes.



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