Gareth Bale could make Real Madrid debut at left-back as defensive crisis hits Carlo Ancelotti's side
£86m world-record signing could be forced down the pitch against Villarreal
Just like in his early days at Tottenham, Gareth Bale could make his debut for Real Madrid at left-back.
Both Fabio Coentrao and Marcelo picked up injuries when playing for their countries during the international break, which could force the £86m world-record signing Bale back down the pitch for the La Liga fixture at Villarreal on Saturday.
Coentrao, who came so close to joining Manchester United in a frantic deadline-day scramble, suffered a muscle injury in Portugal’s 3-1 defeat by Brazil in the United States in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Marcelo had missed the victory over Portugal after injuring his thigh in Brazil’s 6-0 thrashing of Australia at the weekend, and was forced off at half-time.
Alvaro Arbeloa is another option for Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti. The versatile former Liverpool right-back can also fill in at left-back.
Bale played his first minutes of competitive football this season after coming off the bench in the second-half during Wales’ 3-0 home loss by Serbia on Tuesday. A groin strain had kept the 24-year-old out of action so far this season but he should now feature at the weekend.
The Welshman could play against former Tottenham team-mate Giovani Dos Santos. The Mexican was signed from Barcelona one year after Bale in June 2008, but failed to make an impact at White Hart Lane, making only 15 Premier League appearances in four seasons and was loaned out by Spurs on three occasions – to Ipswich Town, Galatasaray, and Racing Santander. Giovani joined Villarreal in June, and has already scored two goals in three La Liga appearances for his new club this season.
Latest in Sport
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling