Ancelotti expects fit-again Benzema to get back to his 'spectacular' best

Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed Karim Benzema will start against Osasuna on Sunday and backed the Real Madrid captain to get back to his "spectacular" best.

Benzema has been sidelined for three weeks due to a knee injury but will be in action in the champions' first LaLiga game after the international break at Santiago Bernabeu this weekend.

The France striker has scored four goals in six appearances for Los Blanco this season after an outstanding 2021-22 campaign.

Benzema found the back of the net a staggering 44 times last season as Madrid secured a famous Champions League and LaLiga double.

Head coach Ancelotti expects the Ballon d'Or favourite to hit those heights again after recovering from an early-season injury setback.

"Benzema is doing very well, he is going to start the game," he said. "He's been with the team all week. His physical condition is good because he was able to recover well and then work well."

When it was put to Ancelotti that Benzema has not looked the same player he was last season, the Italian replied: "Well it's true he didn't score in the last few games – he didn't score because he didn't play.

"There is nothing different with Karim, he's been training very well. Maybe if he didn't have a problem in pre-season, he would not perform this way, but after this injury and time, he didn't play. I'm absolutely sure we are going to see the same Karim Benzema we saw last season, a spectacular player."

Ancelotti revealed midfielder Luka Modric will not face Osasuna and could also miss the Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

He said: "Modric has a minor injury, not a very serious one. I'm not sure he will make it for Wednesday. He will train on Monday, let's see how he feels. If not fit for Wednesday, he will play next weekend [at Getafe]."

Ancelotti plans to make full use of the options at his disposal with such a hectic schedule to come ahead of the World Cup.

"It's an important moment, with many games in a short time," he said. "League, Champions [League]... We have to think that rotating would be important, because we play every three days. Everyone will give and put in their quality and commitment."