Football

Benzema was forced off at half time at the Etihad .

Karim Benzema could miss Champions League second leg against Manchester City

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Real Madrid could be without two of their star forwards when they welcome Manchester City to the Bernabeu.

The two sides saw out a stagnant 0-0 draw in the first leg, and Madrid's chances of improving upon that have now taken a dent with the news that both Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo could be forced to sit out the second leg. 

Worries for Zidane

Benzema picked up an injury to his hamstring in the draw and had to come off at half-time. It is now feared that the strain was sufficiently serious to rule him out for up to a fortnight.

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Head coach Zinedine Zidane is desperate to have at least one of Ronaldo or Benzema fit, especially as breaking down City proved more difficult than they would have perhaps anticipated.

In fact, they are so desperate to be at full strength that Ronaldo is reportedly undergoing stem cell treatment.

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The Portuguese superstar was a surprise exclusion from the squad at the Etihad, despite being greeted by hundreds of fans at Manchester airport prior to the game. Just to keep City guessing, he made the trip, but was evidently not fit enough to play any part.

Madrid derby on the cards

He and Benzema have an unbelievable 74 goals between them this season, but both are almost certain to miss Madrid's La Liga game with Real Sociedad this weekend, which it is essential they win if they are to keep the pressure on Barcelona, who are back at the top op the Spanish division.

If Zidane's men can get past City, they could face the tantalising prospect of a derby with Atletico in the Champions League final, after Diego Simeone's team won the first leg of their semi-final with Bayern Munich 1-0.

But City have proven that they will not go out of the competition without a fight, though they are the underdogs. Joe Hart's goalkeeping has kept them in the tie, but City's defence were also able to shut down Gareth Bale, which was crucial. 

Needless to say, there will be huge pressure on the Welshman to put in a much better performance if Madrid are without two of their most influential players.

Can Madrid beat City even without Ronaldo and Benzema? Have your say in the comments. 

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Topics:
Zinedine Zidane
Karim Benzema
Real Madrid
Football
Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester City
Sergio Aguero
UEFA Champions League

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