0835 GMT January 29, 2020
Benzema scored one and set up another in a 2-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu, where Madrid wore an all-green kit to show support for this week's Climate Summit in the city, AFP reported.
An ankle injury is likely to rule Hazard out of the season's first Clasico on December 18 while Bale has a thigh problem and is also a concern ahead of that crunch game at Camp Nou.
But another excellent Benzema display will at least be of some consolation, after he teed up Raphael Varane before scoring his 15th goal this term to put Espanyol out of sight.
Increasingly it looks like the winner of the Clasico will spend the Christmas break first in the table, with the top two pulling away from the likes of Atletico Madrid, which drew again away at Villarreal on Friday night.
Sevilla, in third, is four points behind Real Madrid before it travels to Osasuna today.
The absence of Hazard and Bale meant Rodrygo came in on the right of the front three while Vinicius Junior was given a rare chance to stake a claim on the left.
Vinicius' last start came in the defeat to Mallorca on October 19 and the 19-year-old, who has been out of favor under Zidane, impressed with a daring and dynamic performance.
He may now be given another outing against Club Brugge in the Champions League on Wednesday, when Madrid is likely to rest key players given its qualification as runners-up is already guaranteed.