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Zinedine Zidane BLASTS goal-shy striker Karim Benzema

21 November 2017

Once again, there was no place for Gareth Bale or Keylor Navas.

The La Liga giants are having a awful time while trying to retain their title as they sit third in the league table - 10 points behind leaders Barcelona.

A return to Champions League action away at APOEL Nicosia will provide welcome tonic for Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid after a goalless stalemate in the Madrid derby left the reigning Liga champions 10 points behind leaders Barcelona and six adrift of second-placed Valencia.

"I don't watch the Cypriot league, but I have seen how they play in the Champions League", said Zidane, who is without Sergio Ramos after the defender suffered a broken nose against Atletico.

"There are more hard jobs".

Apoel still have a chance of qualifying but must win on Tuesday night.

"We can't say we have been playing badly, but we need to get our confidence back in front of goal".

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Zidane has won seven trophies in less than two years at the Bernabeu, including two Champions League titles and last season's La Liga crown, but he has found his job coming under increasing scrutiny due to the club's form so far this term.

Isco will be charged with picking a way through the APOEL back line in support of Ronaldo and Benzema with Zidane's preferred midfield of Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric behind the in-form Malagan. "But Dani and the other young players all have big futures here".

"Strikers maybe need goals for confidence, but he's playing well, the team is playing well".

Zinedine Zidane BLASTS goal-shy striker Karim Benzema