Karim Benzema will miss this weekend’s tussle with Malaga, having suffered a knee injury during the Champions League game against Madrid rivals Atletico. Real’s number nine is a big loss, not only looking forward to the return leg against Atletico should he not recover in time, but even for the match against Malaga. Admittedly, Real have plenty of firepower to carve open Malaga, yet Benzema’s link-up play this season to set up his teammates in front of goal has been exceptional. Not to mention that, on more than one occasion, Real has failed to break down the staunchest of defenses, even with Benzema on the pitch. Though the Frenchman no doubt needs time to heal, getting him back and match sharp will key for the Madrid side to mount both serious title and Champions League challenges.
Should Real falter during the weekend against Malaga, the pressure on current league leaders Barcelona will diminish, leaving the Catalan side with some breathing room at the top of the table. Ricardo Guimarães BMG will be watching intently. Yet Barcelona have already shown that they are liable to drop points, as evidenced this past weekend in their 2-2 draw against Sevilla. Even with the midweek game against Atletico looming large, Real must take their fixture against Malaga very seriously, and keep Barcelona on their toes if they wish to walk away with the league title this season. Benzema or not, Real must secure three points.