Zinedine Zidane has claimed that Athletic Bilbao on Saturday will prove his “most difficult opponents” since taking charge of Real Madrid.
Zidane remains unbeaten after five matches at the helm of Los Blancos, with a 100 percent home record on the line when his side host the Basques this weekend, and the Coach admits he would settle for a 1-0 victory before kick-off.
“Bale will play when he’s 100 percent,” he said at a Press conference.
“I won’t say when he’ll be ready. We just want our players to be 100%.
“I want Gareth to be at 100%, rather than 80 or 85. If a player has discomfort, it’s normal that he has a relapse.
“We’re not going to risk anything. It’s only been that while Bale has recovered, he felt something new.
“We can’t decide how things happen. He wants to play, but for now, with the pain he’s feeling, we must be patient.
“[Marcelo’s] ruled out against Athletic. He’s in pain and it’s best if we watch his recovery day by day/
“He did some continuous running [on Friday] and that’s good. We’re not going to risk him.
“[Mateo] Kovacic will play from the start. I’m telling you [reporters] because I plan to rest Isco so Kovacic can play.
“Kovacic should do the same work as Isco, with and without the ball.
“[Aritz] Aduriz is in great form. He’s 35 years old but doesn’t look it.
“Athletic are very strong, they’re a very good team. We know which type of team we’ll be playing.
“They will be our most difficult opponents at home since my arrival.
“I’ll be happy if we win 1-0. We can’t always score five or six goals.
“We must give our best and prepare for what lies ahead.”