February 19, 2018

Real Madrid hit with another major injury blow ahead of Espanyol match

02 October 2017, 12:06 | Darrell Baldwin

Bale likely to miss Espanyol clash

Real Madrid possible XI

The win lifts Real Madrid to fifth place in the table, with Barcelona still holding a seven-point lead over their rivals following their win over Las Palmas at an empty Camp Nou earlier in the day. Needless to say, but "creamy" did not win any home victory in this championship, although they played 3 matches. "It [Ronaldo's contract] is a club issue and I'm not getting involved in it". He trains with Cristiano [Ronaldo] every day and he is learning from him.

Quique Sanchez Flores' side did pose problems for the host's backline throughout, but it proved powerless to resist two moments of brilliance from Isco. You can not sleep or close your eyes for even a second. "It is a good stadium to try to demonstrate that we are competitive".

Gerard Moreno hitting the woodwork near the half-time whistle was as close as Espanyol came to piercing Real's lines in the first period, although they did pop up with their chances after the interval, too.

Real made no announcement on the injury, which was originally thought to only be a cramp, but Zidane said Bale had a small calf strain.

Bale's fitness is crucial to Wales's hopes of qualifying for the World Cup. Oscar Duarte remains out injured with a long-term injury, although Javi Fuego is back from sickness and can feature alongside Sergi Darder in midfield.

Madrid, which handed Achraf Hakimi a debut at right-back with Dani Carvajal sidelined by a viral pericardium infection, started at a blistering pace and should have been ahead after just 24 seconds. With Gareth Bale a doubt as well, things will revolve around Ronaldo and he simply has to deliver - a situation in which he thrives. This must be the start of a recovery for Zidane's side.

Despite Real Madrid's relatively rocky start, Bale has started the season in good form, scoring against Real Sociedad recently and also against Borussia Dortmund. In their three games at the Bernabeu, the reigning European and Spanish champions were held to draws by Valencia and Levante - having trailed in both matches - before going down 1-0 to Real Betis in their last home outing after conceding a stoppage-time victor. It might not be the most comfortable of games, but Madrid might finally pull through.

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