Gareth Bale: Forward could be on Real Madrid bench on Monday as Real return after Christmas break

£86m Welshman has missed seven of Real's 22 games with different injuries

Gareth Bale could be on the bench against Celta Vigo on Monday as Real Madrid re-start their season after the Christmas break with points to make up in La Liga, coach Carlo Ancelotti said.

Welshman Bale has struggled with injuries since his 100 million euros move from Tottenham Hotspur, missing seven of Real's 22 games with different niggles.

Ancelotti said he is still not fully recovered from a calf strain.

"He is in the squad and we need to make a decision if he plays or not," Ancelotti told a news conference.

"He is training well but we could wait a bit longer for him to be in top condition."

With Atletico Madrid's victory over Malaga on Saturday, it means Real are now eight points adrift of the top.

Angel Di Maria is likely to continue on the right wing instead of Bale while Real remain without the injured Sami Khedira and Raphael Varane.

"We are training well and I like the attitude and concentration of the players," said Ancelotti, who agreed they need to improve their defending from crosses after conceding a spate of goals from set-plays before the Christmas break.

"We have to do better at the back and concentrate more. We started off well but the situation now has been more worrying."

Ancelotti is expecting an open game against Celta.

"I know the philosophy of (Celta coach) Luis Enrique who has lots of experience and always likes to play football. It should be an exciting game and we need to be careful as they are dangerous in attack," he said.

Suggested Topics
News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat