Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that Gareth Bale will not play against Sporting Gijon on Saturday and is touch-and-go for Bayern Munich.
Bale pulled up with a recurrence of a previous calf injury during Madrid’s 2-1 win at Bayern Munich on Wednesday, and Zidane made it clear he “won’t take any risks” with the Welshman.
“Sporting? Yes, they’re a very dangerous team because they’re playing for survival,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“They’re a Primera team that may have had problems this season, but they can still hurt you.
“It’s a very important game and we’re going to have to play very well in order to pick up the three points.
“Bale? He’s not going to be with us at Sporting, that’s clear. We’ll see next week. He has something, a bit of swelling in his calf.
“That’s why we’re not going to risk anything with Gareth. You have to go day by day and see how he develops. With Bale, you have to go game by game.
“I hope that he’ll be back shortly. The injury is in his calf, the area where he had surgery, but it’s a muscular problem. We won’t take any risks with him.
“Bale’s mood? He’s not feeling too bad, although he wants to be with the team, of course.
“When he returned last time, he was very excited, but this time Gareth doesn’t feel that bad because he knows it’s nothing serious, although it’s naturally a setback.
“Defence? We have difficulties because we have injuries there, but we also have players that are ready so we’ll have the players we have. I hope no-one else gets injured.
“Ronaldo’s 100 European goals? You have to be happy with what Cristiano says, that he’ll be at his best for the end of the season.
“I’m glad. He’s very motivated and very few players are going to reach 100 goals in European competition.
“Benzema? He looks fine physically. That’s very good because he knows that it’s very important to be in good shape now, given we’re playing for everything every three days.
“Dortmund? I’m not the person to say if Borussia should’ve played or not. If they played then they’ll certainly have had security
“Team’s morale? I’ve seen a very talented, enthusiastic, focused and motivated team in training. We worked hard for 50 minutes. I have a great team and one that’s very professional.
“Coentrao? Fabio’s going to be with us. I think he’s being very hard on himself. Tomorrow he’s going to be in the group and we’ll see if he plays.
“He’s happy because he’s training very well, without discomfort or anything.
“Asensio? He’s ready to play, Regardless of whether he plays 90, 10 or one minute, he’s always plugged in.
“I’m going to have Marco, as well as the rest of the squad. All the players are very plugged in and that’s the most important thing.
“Just one defeat to a ‘top team’ in more than a year? That’s the DNA of this club, the history of Madrid.
“The greater the difficulty, the greater our commitment, and the players are the first to show it every day. That’s why when these important games come, we appear so happy.
“Scoring in 53 consecutive games? The main thing is that we have players of extraordinary quality.
“We always try to find more chances and more goals, but there’s so much quality in the team, that any player can score.
“We also work hard in training, and the more we work, the more chances we have to be successful.”
Sporting Gijon (probable): Cuellar; Lillo, Mere, Amorebieta, Elderson; Xavi Torres, Vesga, Sergio Alvarez, Xavi Torres; Carmona, Cop, Moi
Injuries/suspensions: Burgui (S) Douglas, Juan Rodriguez, Traore (all injured)
Real Madrid (probable): Keylor; Danilo, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo; James, Kovacic, Isco; Lucas, Morata, Asensio
Injuries/suspensions: Bale (I) Carvajal (S) Pepe (I) Varane (I)
Referee: Fernandez Borbalan
Form guide: Sporting (L L D W D) Madrid (D W W W W)
Previous meeting: Madrid 2-1 Sporting
Kick-off time: 15:15 BST/16:15 CET (LIVE on Football Espana!)