Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid - Real Madrid without Bale for trip to Bilbao



Posted Friday, December 01, 2017 by PA

Gareth Bale will miss Real Madrid's LaLiga trip to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night because of a recurring calf injury.

Bale returned to action after two months out to play a key role in Madrid's Copa del Rey tie with Fuenlabrada on Tuesday night.

The 28-year-old came off the bench to set up both goals as Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw by the minnows, but Madrid progressed 4-2 on aggregate.

The Welsh winger will sit out the trip to Bilbao but manager Zinedine Zidane is confident Bale should be available for Madrid's Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund next Wednesday.

"It's not much, just discomfort, but as he's been out for so long it's difficult," Zidane said in his pre-match press conference.

"I hope it's just a physical problem and is only discomfort.

"He needs to be with the team, train with the team and feel like another member of the squad.

"We keep telling him this, that this is a tough time for him but he'll come out of it, and we'll keep supporting him until he is better.

"We can't forget what he has done for the team. When he is fit he is phenomenal, so we need to be patient with him.

Bilbao, who have gone five league games without a win, were knocked out of the cup by SD Formentera earlier in the week to increase the pressure on manager Jose Angel Ziganda with fans upset at the current run of form.

Striker Inaki Williams took to Twitter to stress the players can turn things around by sticking together.

"(Tuesday was) a tough night, with many things going through my head, the errors we made deprived me of sleep," Williams posted on social media.

"All we can do is look forward and work hard to get out of this situation, to club together like the big family we are, because together we are stronger."

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