However, Zidane has handed a weekend off to a host of other key men as Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos and Keylor Navas were not included in the Frenchman’s 19-man squad.
Bale hasn’t featured since suffering ankle ligament damage in November and is expected to be eased back into action as a second-half substitute.
“Bale is with us. He will be in the squad and the idea is that he has minutes,” Zidane said on Friday.
“He is an important player. He has quality, pace, we know the damage he can do to the opponents.
“We are happy and he is even more so to get back playing. He is desperate to return.”
Madrid can move four points clear of Barcelona with a game in hand at the top of La Liga should they record a 10th consecutive victory over Espanyol.