After much speculation in the past week, Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti has announced that winger Gareth Bale would be starting for the game against Rayo Vallecano despite concerns for his fitness.

“We have a small problem with Bale. He has a bang to his left foot,” Ancelotti said of the Welshman’s condition. However, he stressed that the 25-year old player is well enough to put on a performance on their upcoming match with the Red Sashes.

Bale is said to have acquired the injury during the team’s Sunday match against Granada, where they pulled off a 9-1 beating of the opponent. The winger made the opening goal for the match and provided two assists, but was eventually taken off the game due to said injury. While many have expressed fears that the injury might be that of a broken bone, which would have sent Bale to the sidelines for the remainder of the season, tests revealed that it was less severe.

Nevertheless, in a poll conducted by AS.com, 31 percent of fans said that it would be best for Real to drop Bale from the squad for the match, with Isco and James Rodriguez replacing him.

With the announcement of Bales’s inclusion in the 11-man squad for the match with Rayo, he is still expected to be rested for the match, to be replaced by the two players. However, some analysts also argue that Ancelotti might still go ahead and play him as the manager tends to do in major games.

Aside from Bale, another face returning for Real from the injury list is Dani Carvajal. Carvajal suffered an injury last month and was rested during the Granada match. He is expected to play right-back in place of Alvaro Arbeloa, who was earlier suspended from play.

Conspicuously missing from the lineup is Sami Khedira, which sparked rumors that the Granada game might have been his last for the team following confirmation of his exit.

Paul Koroma

I learned all about life with a ball at my feet. Soccer allows me to push the limitation of creativity and express myself without saying a word. Soccer is my addiction. I train. I play, and I repeat every single day.

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