Villarreal-Real Madrid Preview: Bale in line to make bow
The world-record signing from Tottenham could play some part for los Blancos as they look to continue their 100 per cent start to the season but face a tricky test at El Madrigal
Gareth Bale could make his Real Madrid bow on Saturday as they travel to Villarreal, with both having made 100 per cent starts to the term.
Following his world-record transfer from Tottenham, the Wales international is expected to be involved for Carlo Ancelotti's side, having featured for his country against Serbia on Tuesday.
Bale has admitted he might not be fully fit, but insisted he would be happy to play any role his coach needs him to on Saturday.
"We have to wait until the match day to see whether I'm picked or not," he said. "But hopefully I can get my fitness up straight away and get a place in the team.
"I have spoken to the boss about where I'm best on the pitch but I will play anywhere I'm asked."
Both sides have started the season with three wins out of three, but with Madrid dominating their opponents in recent meetings, they will be favourites to maintain their winning start.
Real have won 17 of their 26 meetings, and have not lost any of their last six encounters.
Villarreal only lost seven games on the way to a second-placed finish and automatic promotion from the Segunda Division last season and they have started the new campaign well.
El Madrigal has been a tough place for teams to visit in the past 12 months with only three sides having left with all three points, and captain Bruno Soriano remains confident they can surprise Real.
"It's a chance to show that we can compete with anyone and that we can fight against a team like Madrid," he said.
"Last year, we were dreaming about playing these teams and now the opportunity has arrived and we want to put in a great performance.
"Personally I prefer it if an opponent is at full strength and that the best come so we can take them on.
"Although even if Madrid has some players out, I am sure they will have the same level of quality."
Xabi Alonso (foot) and Raphael Varane (knee) will definitely be missing for Madrid, however Cristiano Ronaldo and Isco are expected to be available having taken part in training on Thursday.
Bojan Jokic (hamstring) and Francisco Farinos (Achilles) are doubts for the hosts having already missed the opening matches of the season.
Top 3 Predictions
Villarreal 1-3 Real Madrid
- 18.88 %
Villarreal 0-4 Real Madrid
- 13.12 %
Villarreal 0-3 Real Madrid
- 12.52 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||08 Feb 2014||Real Madrid 4 - Villarreal 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||14 Sep 2013||Villarreal 2 - Real Madrid 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||21 Mar 2012||Villarreal 1 - Real Madrid 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||26 Oct 2011||Real Madrid 3 - Villarreal 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||15 May 2011||Villarreal 1 - Real Madrid 3|
|08 Mar 2014||Granada 2 - Villarreal 0||LIGA|
|02 Mar 2014||Villarreal 1 - Betis 1||LIGA|
|24 Feb 2014||Espanyol 1 - Villarreal 2||LIGA|
|15 Feb 2014||Villarreal 0 - Celta 2||LIGA|
|08 Feb 2014||Real Madrid 4 - Villarreal 2||LIGA|
|17||Giovani dos Santos||Striker|
|25||Diego López Rodríguez||Goalkeeper|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|