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Football | Spain

Karim Benzema © Action Images

Benzema hopeful of making 'El Clasico'



Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is hopeful of being fit for the Spanish champions' clash with Barcelona on Tuesday night.

Benzema did not travel with his teammates for Saturday's away trip to Deportivo in La Liga due to a knee problem and his presence would be missed in midweek with their Copa del Rey semifinal with Barca finely poised after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

"I am working hard and with a lot of hope to rejoin the team as soon as possibile in this crucial week," he told the club's website.

"I am very sorry to have not been able to be in La Coruna. My teammates and manager know that I am working hard to arrive in the best conditions as quickly as possible.

"My sensations right now are positive and nothing makes me more excited than being in good shape to be able to help my team as soon as possible."

The club also confirmed that Benzema's compatriot Raphael Varane would not play against Depor due to a small muscular problem.

Coach Jose Mourinho will also not be able to count on Iker Casillas or Xabi Alonso through injury, whilst Sergio Ramos is suspended.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Antonio Adan has denied that he is desperate to leave the club after being left out of the squad for last weekend's 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano.

Mourinho's decision to place Jesus Fernandez ahead of the 25-year-old on the bench had drawn scathing criticism from Adan's uncle, Enrique Adan, who told Catalunya Radio that his nephew must leave the club and that his entourage were very unhappy with the coach.

However, the player himself has categorically rejected those suggestions and claimed he has a good relationship with Mourinho.

"I am not the kind of person who gives up and I go to training every day with the intention of doing well and gaining the confidence of the coach, with whom I have a very good relationship," he told the club's website.

Adan had been controversially picked ahead of club captain Casillas for two league games against Malaga and Real Sociedad at the turn of the year.

However, he lost his place in the side after being sent-off just six minutes into the Sociedad match, and the signing of Diego Lopez in January pushed Adan further down the pecking order.

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