Real Madrid vs Las Palmas - Troubled Madrid cannot rely on a Bale out against Las Palmas

Posted Saturday, November 04, 2017 by PA

Real Madrid must again do without Gareth Bale as they look to end a miserable week on a positive note against Las Palmas, although the Wales international is closing in on a return to action.

Bale has been sidelined since September 26 with a calf problem but Real's record signing has returned to training in the last couple of days, along with fellow injury victim Dani Carvajal.

However, Sunday's visit of struggling Las Palmas to the Bernabeu comes too soon for both players, with coach Zinedine Zidane confirming neither will be involved.

Zidane told a press conference: "We're happy because they have both returned to training with the group.

"Dani is fine, normal, and Gareth as well. We're happy to see them back with us, but they are not going to be in the squad."

Zidane also said Bale would not be linking up with Wales for their friendlies against France and Panama.

The 28-year-old forward had been named in a 24-man Wales squad but Dragons boss Chris Coleman confirmed his final availability would be down to Madrid, and Zidane wants Bale to continue his recovery in Spain.

"Gareth is not going to be in the squad (to face Las Palmas) and he is not going to go with his national team," said Zidane.

"He's had two training sessions with us and we want him to remain with us so he is ready as soon as possible."

The reigning Spanish and European champions are also missing midfielder Mateo Kovacic as they attempt to respond to humbling defeats to Girona and Tottenham.

It is only the second time under Zidane that Madrid have suffered back-to-back losses, but the Frenchman is determined to weather the storm with calm.

He said: "We need to think positively. It's not going to change anything about what we want to achieve this season.

"This is football and sometimes you have bad spells. It's nothing new, it happened to us last year and we achieved important things at the end of the season.

"We can play better, but I don't think our problem is playing badly."

Madrid could hardly have picked a better opponent against whom to try and get back on track against than Las Palmas.

The Canary Islanders have slumped into the bottom three after suffering six successive league defeats, while they have not beaten Madrid in 16 years.

However, they did hold Zidane's men to two draws last season - including a 3-3 thriller at the Bernabeu when a Cristiano Ronaldo brace in the final four minutes saved the hosts - and Las Palmas coach Pako Ayestaran is hoping to add to Madrid's current headaches on Sunday.

When asked about Madrid's poor form, he said: "There are times when you can benefit because they have more doubts. If we're able to keep it goalless for longer then they could become anxious, but Real Madrid always recover and sometimes it's more difficult to face them (in this situation). You never know."



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