Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane said on Monday that he expects both Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema to face Manchester City in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg.
Ronaldo did not feature in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Rayo Vallecano after sustaining a thigh muscle strain in Madrid’s previous game, while Benzema was forced off by a knee problem in the 42nd minute.
But both forwards made the journey to Manchester with the rest of the Madrid squad and while Zidane said they would both be assessed in training, he is confident that they will be able to play.
“The idea is that we want them to play tomorrow, of course,” he told his pre-match press conference at City’s Etihad Stadium.
“We have the last training session now, so we’ll see. They’re absolutely fine at the moment. I think they’ll be fine.
“They’re 100 percent, but we’ll test everything. The idea is that they’ll play.”
Ronaldo and Benzema were present for the part of the pre-match training session open to the media, warming up with the rest of the squad and taking part in a ‘toro’ ball possession exercise.
Ronaldo has scored 47 goals in all competitions this season and Benzema 27, with Gareth Bale’s tally of 18 taking the trio’s total haul to 92.
Ronaldo, formerly of City’s sworn enemies Manchester United, needs one goal to equal his own record of 17 goals in a single Champions League campaign, which he set in 2013-14.