Carlo Ancelotti has admitted his Real Madrid side are heavily reliant on striker Karim Benzema ahead of facing Chelsea in the return leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
The French marksman is in stunning goalscoring form once again this season, netting 37 times in all competitions so far including consecutive hat-tricks in the Champions League.
The most recent of those trios came at the expense of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the quarter-final first leg, with Benzema’s three goals firing Los Blancos to a sensational 3-1 away victory and giving them a comfortable two-goal cushion ahead of Tuesday’s second leg.
“We are dependent on Benzema,” he said. ”That’s how it is, we are not going to deny it. And I’m very happy that we are dependent on Karim. It’s a reality, and it’s a good thing.
“Karim is a modern forward and [does] what is required of strikers. Everything, including defensive work. He is the perfect representation of what a centre-forward should be in today’s football.”
The vastly experienced Italian coach added that he expected his side would have to ‘suffer’ as Chelsea chase the tie on Tuesday night.
“Everyone knows it’s going to be difficult, beyond the 3-1 [win],” Ancelotti continued. “We will have to suffer and fight, for sure. We’re expecting an opponent who will do their best to get through the tie.
“We’ll see about the lineup. We would like [to play] the same game as there. We have to be prepared for anything, for a change in Chelsea’s way of playing, because what they did in London didn’t work out well for them.”