Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema

Real Madrid CF is in real danger of failing to defend their La Liga title and this weekend's trip to the Camp Nou could make or break their season. Unfortunately, there is a real possibility that they could be without star striker Karim Benzema in what could be the most crucial match in their domestic season.

The club is presently monitoring the Frenchman's condition after he was seen limping on the pitch after scoring their winning goal against Liverpool FC in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round-of-16 clash on Wednesday night. Benzema was eventually subbed off, with manager Carlo Ancelotti claiming that he had only done so as a precaution.

However, it has now been reported by Marca that the number 9 has missed group training on Friday. While the rest of the squad trained together on the pitch in Valdebebas, Benzema had to train alone indoors.

The other players played a mini game after a series of drills and exercises on possession, control and tactics. It is unclear what kind of program Benzema followed as he trained at the gym, but his right leg injury was only described as a "knock" by Ancelotti.

Real Madrid will be hoping to have the Ballon d'Or holder fully fit and ready to travel to the Camp Nou on Sunday, where they will be hoping to close the gap down to six points. The two clubs recently faced each other in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals. Even though Real Madrid dominated possession, they were unable to find the back of the net. What's worse, an own goal from Eder Militao gave Barcelona the win.

Needless to say, they will want their full firepower ready if they wish to take points away from Barcelona and stay in the La Liga title race. The match kicks off more than 24 hours from now, and it remains to be seen how well Benzema will be feeling. It will be a risk for Ancelotti to field the Frenchman, especially with the club still fighting for the Copa del Rey and Champions League trophies.

What's worse, defender David Alaba is still sidelined due to injury. Furthermore, starlet Alvaro Rodriguez has earned himself a suspension while playing with Castilla, and won't be available to pick up the slack should Benzema prove to be unfit. As such, Brazilian Rodrigo Goes may be the best option for Ancelotti.

The Italian has a big decision to make, and he would not want to slip up on such a crucial match. Even though he has already won five trophies with Real Madrid since returning last season, pressure to win titles is always heavier at the Bernabeu than perhaps any other club in the world.

They are still in a good position to defend their Champions League trophy after advancing into the quarter-finals, but Ancelotti will want to keep their title hopes in La Liga alive as well. Thus, a win at El Clasico on Sunday is an absolute must.

Real Madrid has only won six out of 17 games at the Camp Nou under Ancelotti, and they will want to improve that statistic.

Meanwhile, Barcelona do have the home advantage, but they have suffered their own setbacks as well. It has been confirmed that their young midfield star Pedri has also been sidelined due to injury.

Manager Xavi Hernandez admitted after the last El Clasico that they were suffering in midfield, lamenting that they could not take the ball from Madrid's midfield duo of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. They could hardly keep possession against Los Blancos, and losing Pedri will certainly put a dent in their confidence.