Fri 10 March 2023 | 13:50

Ancelotti is confident Benzema will answer critics amid goal drought

Despite scoring a brace against Liverpool at Anfield, the French striker failed to score in Real Madrid's next three games against Atletico, Barcelona, and Real Betis. Ahead of the Los Blancos clash with Espanyol, Ancelotti is confident Benzema will answer his critics.

Ballon d'Or holder Karim Benzema has failed to score in Real Madrid's last three games despite scoring 11 goals in 15 La Liga games. Missing his side's Saturday game with Espanyol for an ankle injury, Carlo Ancelotti backs the French striker to play a big part in Real Madrid's season.

"He was a key player for us [last season], he performed incredibly, scored more than 40 goals," Ancelotti said at a press conference on Friday.

"It affected us a bit [earlier this season] because he couldn't reach his top level. This second part of the season he has been important for us, and we think he will be key for us until the end of the season. He has a knock, and he has to get better."

Benzema's contract is due to expire at the end of the season. Ancelotti added: "He has been here for so many years, I'm absolutely sure about what's going to happen next year, but I'm not a magician."

About the possibility of signing Kylian Mbappe following PSG's early exit from the Champions League, the Italian coach said: "Well, it's a question you can ask me whenever, but it is something to which I will never reply.”

Confirming Rodrygo will play as the central striker on Saturday, he added: "He has to play where the team needs him, maybe at some point he can play as a winger to show his quality, or as a number 10, but he can play in different places."

On his side's current form, Ancelotti said: "I don't want to think about it, but it is always like this. When there are difficult moments, criticism starts."

source: SportMob

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