Previous
Chelsea
West Ham United
Dec 26, 2014 12:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Burnley
Liverpool
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Everton
Stoke City
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Manchester United
Newcastle United
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Leicester City
Tottenham Hotspur
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
West Bromwich Albion
Manchester City
Dec 26, 2014 3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Arsenal
Queens Park Rangers
Dec 26, 2014 5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Five trends of the 2014-15 Premier League

Tactics & Analysis
Read

Top 10 moments for Liga MX in 2014

Liga MX
Read

Karim Benzema benching 'a lesson'

Being dropped for France's World Cup qualifier will have been "a good lesson" for Karim Benzema, French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet has claimed.

SPI World Cup qualifying projections
Le Graet: France are regressing

Having extended his 15-month goal-scoring drought at international level with an ineffectual display in last Friday's 0-0 draw in Georgia, Benzema did not start Tuesday's Group I encounter in Belarus, the first time since November 2009 the Real Madrid forward had not been on the pitch at kick-off when available for Les Bleus.

The 25-year-old watched on as Didier Deschamps' side twice came from behind to triumph 4-2 in Gomel and clinch at least a place in the play-offs. Le Graet, 71, told RMC the painful experience may spur on Benzema to reproduce his club form for his country.

"I think it's a good lesson for him. I'm not a specialist in football, but I love it, and I love the player a lot. He's a massive player for me. That said, he's stuck a little with the French team whereas at Real Madrid, he plays regularly and scores goals in the league and the Champions League," said the FFF boss, who has no doubt Benzema is wholly committed to the French cause.

"He loves it, otherwise he wouldn't come and would invent injuries. He's a lovely bloke. A game on the bench won't do him any harm. He saw his friends play well and win without him."

Having played alongside Olivier Giroud in Tbilisi in a 4-4-2, Benzema missed out in favour of the Arsenal striker as Deschamps reverted to his preferred 4-2-3-1 in Belarus. However Guy Stephan, Deschamps' assistant, told RMC that Benzema need not fear too much for his international future if he can rediscover his form.

"Karim Benzema is a talented player, he said. "He's not been effective nor lucky in recent games. He didn't play but it doesn't mean he won't come back. Didier Deschamps will continue to follow him at Real Madrid. We're all obliged to get results. The players are also obliged to put in performances. When they don't, Didier has to make a choice."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.