Real Madrid handed a timely boost as Carlo Ancelotti reveals ‘it’s possible’ that Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard could both START their Copa del Rey quarter-final clash against Athletic Bilbao
- Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard have both battled with fitness issues this season
- Bale, in particular, has struggled, and hasn’t played for Real Madrid since August
- The pair could be be handed starts on Thursday, though, against Athletic Bilbao
After returning from his loan spell at Tottenham in the summer, Bale started Madrid’s first three LaLiga matches this season, but he has not featured since for the team after suffering a number of injury setbacks.
Meanwhile, Hazard has got more game time under his belt, making 18 appearances in all competitions. However, his campaign has also been disrupted by injuries and illness.
Gareth Bale could be in line to play his first game for Real Madrid since September on Thursday
Eden Hazard has also struggled with fitness issues, but he could start against Athletic Bilbao
Madrid boss Ancelotti has delivered a positive update on their current fitness levels, though.
He also expects Marco Asensio, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo to be in contention to feature, despite the latter two facing a race to get back in time after playing in World Cup qualifiers for Brazil over the past week.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Ancelotti said in reference to Bale and Hazard: ‘It’s possible they will be starters, Asensio also, who has recovered well.
‘Vinicius and Rodrygo return but they are 20 and not 60 like me (laughs). They can recover.’
Carlo Ancelotti is happy with the condition of Bale and Hazard, and could hand them starts
Having Bale and Hazard back on the pitch could be a timely boost for the Spanish giants as they prepare for a busy month of fixtures.
As well as looking to book their place in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, Madrid will be aiming to hold off Sevilla in the title race.
Ancelotti’s men currently have a four-point lead over their rivals at the top of the table.
Madrid also face the daunting task of taking on Ligue 1 leaders PSG for a spot in the last eight of the Champions League, in what promises to be a mouthwatering clash.