Sport | Football

Higuain, Benzema doubtful for Real

Puyol back in training as Barcelona visit struggling Mallorca

  • Reuters
  • Published: 14:24 November 10, 2012
  • Gulf News

Madrid: Real Madrid strikers Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain are doubts for the trip to play Levante in La Liga on Sunday, a ground that has proved an uncomfortable venue for Jose Mourinho’s side over the last two seasons.

France striker Benzema missed the visit of Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday with a thigh muscle problem and Argentina’s Higuain was forced off at half-time in the same match with what looked like a hamstring injury.

“I don’t think Benzema or Higuain will be available this weekend,” Mourinho said after the 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu.

Jose Callejon came on and deputised up front in the second half on Tuesday, while youth team striker Alvaro Morata could get a call up to the first team.

Portugal left-back Fabio Coentrao returned to training with the squad on Thursday after picking an injury on the last break for internationals.

The champions trail leaders Barcelona by eight points after 10 games and visit the Ciudad de Valencia stadium on Sunday, where they lost one of only two league games during the whole of last season.

Barcelona have been boosted as captain Carles Puyol returned to training with the rest of the squad on Friday, six weeks after dislocating his left elbow in their Champions League win away to Benfica.

Coach Tito Vilanova has been struggling to cover the absence of his first-choice centre-backs, with Gerard Pique having also been out injured.

Pique damaged his foot in September and returned to play the last few minutes of Barca’s shock 2-1 defeat away to Celtic in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The La Liga leaders defend their unbeaten domestic start to the season away to Real Mallorca on Sunday, against a side who have lost their last five league games.

Gulf News
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