Real Madrid Match Preview: Real v Villareal preview - Bale Could Start!
Bale could start at left back for Real as injuries bite
TV: Sky Sports
After a summer of `will he, won`t he` intrigue, the Gareth Bale saga will end tomorrow night at El Madrigal, the home of newly promoted Villareal.
It was originally intended for Bale to make a minor appearance at first as a substitute, but with a plethora of injuries, especially at the left back position, it looks like Carlo Ancelotti will be forced to play Bale from the start in the left back position.
This will not be a problem for Bale, who started his early career as a left back until his then manager, Harry Redknapp realized his potential as a wing/striker; the rest is history. Bale has only recently met up with team mate Cristiano Ronaldo and interestingly, he was very nearly injured by him in a training match yesterday.
Here is what Bale had to say when he realized that he might start after all:-
Bale said: “I’m just looking forward to getting on the pitch and wherever the manager puts me I’ll be giving 100 per cent.”
“We have to wait until the match day to see whether I’m picked or not but hopefully I can get my fitness up straight away and get a place in the team.”
“I feel good, I’ve been training last week with Wales I’ve had two good sessions today.”
“I got half an hour to 40 minutes game time with Wales and I’m feeling good but obviously I’m a bit behind physically than everybody else but hopefully I can catch up as soon as possible.”
“I went straight away on international duty which probably wasn’t the best but I’ve been back for the last two days now.”
Both sides have started the season with three wins out of three, but with Madrid dominating their opponents in recent meetings, they will be favourites to maintain their winning start. Real have won 17 of their 26 meetings, and have not lost any of their last six encounters.
As far as team news is concerned, there are some injuries on both sides. Xabi Alonso (foot) and Raphael Varane (knee) will definitely be missing for Madrid, however Cristiano Ronaldo and Isco are expected to be available having taken part in training on Thursday. Bojan Jokic (hamstring) and Francisco Farinos (Achilles) are doubts for the hosts having already missed the opening matches of the season.
Regarding the betting for the match, here are the current odds:-
Villarreal(5) Draw(10/3) Real Madrid(8/13)
El Madrigal has proven a tough place for teams to get a result in the past, however, that was in their heyday and they are newly promoted, so I expect a Real Madrid win by 2-0.