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Primera División

  • January 6, 2014
  • • 1:00 PM
  • • Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
  • Referee: Alfonso Alvarez Izquierdo
  • • Attendance: 65217

La Liga Preview: Real Madrid - Celta

La Liga Preview: Real Madrid - Celta

Gareth Bale is available for selection after recovering from a calf injury, while Fabio Coentrao is also back in the mix after a hamstring problem.

Gareth Bale is set to make his Real Madrid return in Monday's Liga home clash with Celta.

The Welshman, who has scored nine goals in 15 appearances for Los Blancos since his world-record move from Tottenham, missed the club's trip to Valencia in its final game before the midseason break due to a calf injury. However, Bale returned to full training Friday and could go back into Carlo Ancelotti's starting lineup for the visit of Luis Enrique's men to the Bernabeu.

The 24-year-old's absence did not hamper Madrid at Mestalla, with his replacement Angel Di Maria scoring in a 3-2 win that kept the club in touch with Atletico and Barcelona, which sit eight and five points above Los Blancos, respectively.

Liga's top two are the only teams to have beaten Madrid this season, and Los Merengues' last three home Liga fixtures have yielded nine points and 16 goals. Cristiano Ronaldo was responsible for six of those strikes with hat tricks against Sevilla and Real Sociedad, and the Portuguese star also found the net at Mestalla to take his goal tally to 27 in 21 games in all competitions this season.

Ronaldo's compatriot Fabio Coentrao is available for the Celta game after a month out with a hamstring problem, although Raphael Varane and Sami Khedira (both knee) remain sidelined. Celta, meanwhile, heads to Madrid just one point above the relegation zone following a run of just one win in its last five league matches.

Enrique's men have picked up just four victories from their 17 Liga fixtures this season, although three of those successes have come away from home, at Real Betis, Malaga and Sevilla. However, the Galician outfit was beaten 2-0 and 4-0 in two visits to the Bernabeu last season in La Liga and the Copa del Rey, with Ronaldo scoring four times across those meetings.

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