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Ancelotti expects derby return for Bale

The Italian is hopeful the Welshman will be fit to face Atletico Madrid on Saturday, but praised Isco and Angel di Maria in the former Tottenham man's absence

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is confident that Gareth Bale will be match fit in time for the derby against Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

The world-record signing was in line to make his home debut for Madrid in their 4-1 win over Getafe on Sunday, but was forced to withdraw from the side after feeling discomfort in his leg during the warm-up.

"Bale had a small problem when he was warming up. It's not an injury. He just didn't feel comfortable," Ancelotti explained to reporters.

"He was disappointed because he was very excited to play.

"I don't know if he can play on Wednesday [against Elche] because it's difficult for a player to be ready in three days, but I think he will be ready for Saturday's match.

"We are working to improve Bale's fitness because he didn't have a good pre-season."

The Welshman underwent further examination on Monday to determine the extent of the knock, with the club confirming a minor muscle problem in his left thigh.

"After the tests carried out today on Gareth Bale at the Sanitas La Moraleja hospital, fatigue in the left thigh muscle was found. It will be treated," a statement on the Madrid website reads.

Ancelotti then went on to speak about Isco and Angel di Maria, praising the former’s overall talent and the latter’s excellent work ethic after their impressive displays in Sunday's win.

"Isco arrived here with a lot of personality. It's difficult to play here but he is very talented," he added.

"Di Maria is a unique player. He works a lot for the team, he defends and assists the strikers too."

Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and one apiece for Pepe and Isco saw Ancelotti's side claim all three points at Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, moving them back to within two of Barcelona at the top of La Liga after five games.

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