Reuters - Wed, 10 Mar 09:56:00 2010
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has failed to recover from injury in time for the visit of his former club Lyon in the Champions League.
Real Madrid v Lyon (kick-off 19:45)
France international striker Karim Benzema has been struggling with a groin problem and was left out of Manuel Pellegrini's squad along with the injured Royston Drenthe and Pepe, and suspended Marcelo and Xabi Alonso.
The absence of former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, one of Real's most consistent performers of late, does not help Pellegrini resolve his toughest decision, which is who to play in the middle. The attack-minded Guti and Rafael van der Vaart came on as second-half substitutes and helped inspire Real to their 3-2 comeback win against Sevilla on Saturday, and are both options to start for Real.
Lyon's Michel Bastos has pulled out of the trip to the Santiago Bernabeu with a thigh muscle injury. Defenders Anderson and Francois Clerc (both knee) also miss out. Argentina Cesar Delgado, who has been out since the 1-0 win in France in the first leg, came off the bench to play against Boulogne-sur-Mer at the weekend.
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