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Bale fit to face Malaga

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti says Gareth Bale is fit and ready to play against Malaga in La Liga on Saturday.

Last Updated: 18/10/13 at 14:57 Post Comment

Gareth Bale: Likely to play a part this weekend

Gareth Bale: Likely to play a part this weekend

Ancelotti says that Bale's back injury is not the reason he has missed games this season, instead blaming a "lack of pre-season training" that has led to a hamstring pull.

Earlier this week Madrid issued a statement dismissing reports that the winger had a suffered a slipped disc in his back and might need surgery.

Bale's pre-season was disrupted by the drawn-out negotiations over his move from Tottenham to Madrid and there have been concerns about his fitness since he joined the Spanish side.

Ancelotti is keen to have the Wales winger back in the squad with critical games against Juventus in the Champions League and the season's first El Clasico at Barcelona coming next week.

"Bale is available for tomorrow," the Italian told a press conference.

"He doesn't have a back problem, his problem was the lack of a pre-season. If you look at his last four years he has played more than 120 games.

"He is working very well every day, now he is in much better condition and he is ready to play.

"I have personal experience of the problem, I had three protrusions and it never hindered my ability to play. Many players have this problem.

"Tomorrow I want to give him minutes because he needs to play and to get to know how to play with the team."

The former Chelsea boss also rebuffed criticism from Wales manager Chris Coleman that he had unnecessarily rushed Bale into action by starting him on his debut against Villarreal on September 14.

"I have read that I was crazy to play him against Villarreal, but I wasn't the first one who played him, that was his national team manager, he added.

"He didn't have any problems in Villarreal. It was afterwards that he suffered the thigh strain."

Varane Raphael has been ruled out of the clash with Malaga and Alvaro Morata is in contention to start up front as Karim Benzema is carrying a knock.

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I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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