Updates from Monday, May 12
Bale was an unused sub at Celta, but Ancelotti holds few fears over his participation in the Champions League final, explaining via ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan:
[Bale] is not 100 percent. He got a knock, but I decided not to risk him, especially when I could have put him on. I wanted to avoid any problems.
Updates from Thursday, May 8
Gareth Bale was seen training with his Real Madrid teammates on Thursday as he bids to return to first-team action.
Rhiannon Jones of Real Madrid TV tweeted:
Real Madrid’s record signing Gareth Bale could be set to miss their crucial game against Real Valladolid on Wednesday after picking up an injury.
Carlo Ancelotti confirmed in his pre-match press conference that both the Welshman and full-back Daniel Carvajal are doubts for the contest:
The news will come as a blow for Los Blancos, who remain firmly in the race for the La Liga title after Cristiano Ronaldo’s last gasp equaliser against Valencia on Sunday.
Bale has grown into his role at the Santiago Bernabeu following a stuttering start in the Spanish capital. The former Tottenham man endeared himself to the Madridistas after his stunning winning goal against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final, and they’ll be desperately disappointed if he was to miss out on the final few games.
Real will have to be at their absolute best to conquer a Valladolid team who are a real force on their own patch. At the Estadio Nuevo Jose Zorrilla, they are currently on a 10-game unbeaten run, a sequence that saw Valladolid beat Barcelona 1-0 back in March, per WhoScored.com.
Michael Walker of the Irish Times talked about Bale's impact this season for Los Blancos:
In the future it may come to be seen that Bale was the tipping-point signing that altered the balance in power between Real and Barcelona. That was not an idea many were punting as recently as March, but Barcelona are about to end a season trophy-less.
Madrid can perhaps compensate for Bale’s loss a little easier than players in other positions. If the Welshman isn’t available, expect the vibrant Angel Di Maria to be shifted from a central position to a role on the right flank with either the creative talents of Isco or playmaking abilities of Asier Illarramendi being drafted into the middle of the park.
Ancelotti will be hoping to get Bale back in the first XI soon, though, with Real fighting to complete an historic treble at the end of the Italian’s first campaign in charge. Bale has been vital to their superb form in 2014, and you suspect he’ll continue to play a key role should Real end up with a trio of trophies come the end of the season.
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