El Classico: Gareth Bale not in line to start against Barcelona

Gareth Bale has been in awesome shape of form for his Real Madrid teammates and the club’s coaching staff with his performances and fitness after being ruled out for three months through injury.

Nevertheless, the Santiago Bernabeu outfits are trying to avoid rushing the former Tottenham Hotspur Star back to first team action – even as they prepare welcoming Barcelona for their first La Liga El Classico this season.

According to Spanish outlet Marca, Bale is not yet fully fit and he will not be a starter at the weekend against the Catalan giants.

The main focus of the reigning European and La Liga Champions is to gradually bring him back into the starting XI, allowing the 28-year-old to overcome his injury woes and physically adjust to the demands of first team action.

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale

If there are no further injury setbacks, then Real boss Zinedine Zidane will increase his expectations of Bale and look to start him in games. However, for the immediate future, the talented winger will have to embrace the role of impact sub, a position the Welshman appears to be comfortable with for the time being at least.

At the moment, for all concerned, Bale’s possible contribution to the team is coming on late in a game and using his pure power and pace against tiring opposition to have the greatest impact and benefit. Zidane clearly thinks the same and the Frenchman has at his disposal the best possible option from the bench – an electrifying player who can turn a match’s momentum.

This was seen in the recent FIFA Club World Cup competition in the United Arab Emirates; Bale’s impact could not have been greater in the fleeting appearances that he made from the substitutes’ bench.

For the long term benefit and success of the La Liga holders, a fully fit Gareth Bale is needed and so taking a cautious approach in his recovery is the right approach.

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Ojo Olayiwola A.

Founder of Football Weeks. General football writer with a particular passion for Arsenal FC. Fond of a good bet now and again too. You can always find on - Facebook and Twitter