Real Madrid make the short trip to Getafe on Sunday night and Zinedine Zidane will be weighing up whether to give a rest to Karim Benzema.
The French striker is struggling after taking a knock in a heavy challenge from James Milner in the game against Liverpool.
Add that to the hectic schedule of recent weeks and those to come and it is clear that Benzema is going to need a rest, but the question for Zidane is when.
After two Champions League games and a Clasico within 10 days, the going doesn’t get much easier from now on, with two games per week for the foreseeable and the semi-finals against Chelsea just around the corner.
After Getafe on Sunday, Los Blancos have two more LaLiga Santander outings, on Wednesday at Cadiz and Saturday against Real Betis, before the first leg against Chelsea on Tuesday April 27.
Ideally, Benzema needs some time to recover before those big Champions League games. But, with the form he’s been in, it is very hard to leave him out.
Benzema’s impressive streak
The No.9 has nine goals in his last seven league games and is a key factor in why Real Madrid are now just one point behind rivals Atletico.
If we take away Benzema‘s goals over that run of games, Real Madrid would be fourth and behind Barcelona and Sevilla.
Since Cristiano Ronaldo left, a lot of the goalscoring burden has fallen on the Frenchman’s shoulders and he has risen to the challenge admirably.
Benzema now sits on 25 goals in all competitions this season, having scored 27 last campaign and 30 in the previous one.
Curiously, it was against Sunday’s opponents Getafe that his current scoring hot streak began, with Benzema having scored in every LaLiga Santander game since that encounter back on February 9 and in doing so making Real Madrid title challengers when all hope seemed lost.
As well as aiding his team in the quest for the title, Benzema has his own personal battle to end the season with the Pichichi trophy.
His LaLiga Santander goal tally currently stands at 19, level with Luis Suarez and Gerard Moreno and four behind Lionel Messi.
Notably, Benzema is the only one of those top four scorers whose total does not include any penalties.
In Sergio Ramos‘ absence through injury, Benzema is the designated spot kick taker for Los Blancos, but there haven’t been any to take in the 11 matches the captain has missed.
On Sunday we will see if Benzema‘s run continues or if Zidane decides to reserve him for the challenges ahead.