Real Madrid host Granada in La Liga on Sunday, with a rejuvenated Gareth Bale set to feature in attack.
A nine-game goalless run saw Bale draw the ire of Real’s supporters, which turned to fury when the Welshman failed to sparkle in their Clasico defeat to Barcelona before the international break.
However, Bale was back to his best for his country on Saturday, scoring twice as Wales secured a mightily impressive 3-0 win in Israel to move top of Euro 2016 qualifying Group B.
Bale spoke after the game of having “nothing to prove” to his detractors, and club president Florentino Perez reiterated just how crucial the former Tottenham man is to their plans in the face of rumours linking the player with a return to the Premier League.
“We shall never listen to any offers for Bale,” Perez told Marca. “He is the key to the club’s future, just as I cannot imagine a future without Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Bale picked up a muscle strain in the Israel success, but returned to full training on Thursday and is expected to play.
Carlo Ancelotti is set to be without Pepe, due to a thigh injury, although the signing of Danilo has further raised spirits at the Santiago Bernabeu this week.
Brazil international Danilo will become the most expensive defender in the club’s history when he links up with Real ahead of next season, having signed a six-year deal following a string of impressive outings for Porto.
Real will be desperate to bounce back from their sixth defeat of the season as Cristiano Ronaldo tries to keep a peculiar record going.
The Portuguese star has scored in seven consecutive matches after international breaks, a streak that started in September 2013.
Granada did shock Real in February 2013, with a stunning 1-0 home win, but the European champions have won the last three meetings between the sides.
That includes a 4-0 success in November, which saw James Rodriguez score twice. Rodriguez, who fractured his metatarsal earlier this season, has recently returned to training.
Granada sit 19th but are just two points adrift of safety and a result against Real could be the boost their season needs.
They have won just four matches this season, but drawn 11, and played a goalless stalemate against Eibar last time out.
Granada’s Eddy comes into the contest fresh from making his international debut for Azerbaijan in the recent break, and is hoping to spring another surprise.
“We know that Real Madrid is Real Madrid,” the midfielder said.
“We have to go to the death and take what we can from Madrid.
“If a point: fine, if all three: great, but you have to try and get something.
“We must win and that’s it.”
Colombia defender Jeison Murillo should be fit for Granada after overcoming a foot injury.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!