Real Madrid host Bayern Munich in the return leg of the Champions League Semifinals and Zinedine Zidane has to make one decision which could have a huge impact on the game. It’s no secret that while Benzema’s own performances have been poor this season, his presence on the field benefits Cristiano Ronaldo, who is too busy and isolated upfront when the Frenchman isn’t playing. So, should Benzema start against Bayern?
Cristiano Ronaldo is Real Madrid’s best player by far. So the coaching staff, his teammates and the whole club should do everything at their disposal to make him comfortable on the pitch. Players like Lucas Vazquez, Marco Asensio, Isco Alarcon or Mateo Kovacic all deserve a spot in the starting lineup ahead of Benzema, but it’s quite clear that the Portuguese star is at his best when he plays alongside a striker like the Frenchman. Benzema didn’t feature in the return leg against Juventus and Real Madrid’s offensive system went MIA and the same thing happened during the first leg against Bayern. Yes, Los Blancos managed to earn a 1-2 lead without Benzema on the field, but they will need to play much better and generate more chances at the Bernabeu.
Knowing that Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t suited to play by himself upfront, Real Madrid might need to sign another striker next summer. But right now, Benzema is Zidane’s only option to play in that role and actually take advantage of the best player on the field. That’s why Real’s number 9 has to return to the team’s starting lineup this Tuesday.