SPANISH PRIMERA DIVISIÓN

Los Carmenes

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Real Madrid

  • Karim Benzema 10'

Benzema fits into plans - Ancelotti

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti insists that there is still room for Karim Benzema in his starting line-up despite his desire to move Cristiano Ronaldo into a more central position.

Ronaldo began his career as an out-and-out winger but has evolved into a roaming forward with Ancelotti eager to make use of his talents as a centre-forward.

That would appear to threaten Benzema's place in Real's front line and the Frenchman has even been linked with a move away from the Spanish capital.

But Ancelotti does not believe there will be any problem playing the two in a system together and they may well both start against Granada on Monday night.

"I think, as I said, Ronaldo can play in the centre," the Italian told a press conference. "But this does not change anything for Karim.

"They play a good mix of the two. There is no problem playing together.

"Karim is a player who likes to move and does not have a fixed position on the field."

Los Blancos will be without Xabi Alonso, Raphael Varane and Sami Khedira for the trip south but Asier Illarramendi may be available after training with the squad over the weekend.

Real began their Primera Division campaign with a lacklustre 2-1 win over Real Betis last week and Ancelotti is seeking a considerable improvement in performance.

"We have confidence to play better because it is true that in the opener we were not very good," he said.

"We won with difficulty. We will try to play better next game.

"We know that Granada are a great team, last year they beat Real Madrid at home. We have to be careful in this first game on the road.

"We need the three points and the team are good and concentrating on playing a good game."

Granada began their season with a 2-1 win over Osasuna and coach Lucas Alcaraz is hopeful of carrying some momentum into the Real clash.

He told AS: "Last week there were many doubts about the pre-season and we gave a strong response in Pamplona.

"And now everyone thinks in a much more optimistic way than before."

He added: "The objective is to stay up but we will not always be in this debate.

"Let's just try to enjoy ourselves and compete. The feelings are changing."

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