By 90Min
September 02, 2018

Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has tipped French striker Karim Benzema to hit 30 or 40 goals this season, after the forward struck twice against Leganes.

His two goals in the 4-1 win took the Frenchman's tally to four for the season, much to the delight of his manager post-match.

As quoted by Marca, Lopetegui tipped Benzema to be a serious contender for this season's Pichichi award, which goes to the division's top goalscorer.

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When asked about Benzema and the possibility of him winning the award, he said: "Why not? Why shouldn't he finish with 30 or 40 goals?

"The most important thing is the team and goals are the work of the whole team. Benzema is a great player and always has been.

"What he's doing is credit to him. He's happy and [that] is helping the team, and it'll stay like this."

Lopetegui was however keen to express that just because Benzema was impressing currently, it did not guarantee the Frenchman a place in his starting line-up. Instead, players would be picked based on the matches and their requirements.

He added: "The word untouchable doesn't exist in the line-up. We have great players and sometimes one comes in for another."

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The Spanish manager had similar dilemmas in goal, choosing between last season's number one Keylor Navas and new arrival Thibaut Courtois. However, the Real boss remained relatively tight-lipped on Los Blancos' plan between the sticks this season.

He explained: "I didn't give any roadmap, but we knew he was going to play this match and I won't say any more.

"We have three great goalkeepers and we'll try to find the best solutions. We decided that Courtois would play this time, but we have excellent options.

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"Keylor Navas is our player and had a great game against Girona, before being named the best goalkeeper by UEFA.

"We'll see how it goes, with the decision to be made on the pitch. We do, though, have an idea of what we'll do."

Lopetegui rounded off his press conference discussing the video assistant referee system, which had been consulted to award Madrid's second goal.

He said: "It's here to make things fairer. It was a legal goal and VAR has solved what was initially an error."

Real now face an international break, before returning to face Athletic Bilbao.

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