Fitness boost for Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale

Phil Blanche 10/10/2018
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Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale is set to win his fitness battle and play in Wales’ Nations League tie against the Republic of Ireland.

Bale remains doubtful for the Cardiff friendly with Spain on Thursday after coming off in the closing stages of Real Madrid’s La Liga defeat at Alaves last weekend.

The 29-year-old has been troubled by a groin injury in recent weeks, but he trained on Tuesday and the Wales medical staff will continue to monitor his fitness ahead of the Spain game.

Although that clash might be too soon for him, it is understood that Bale is in line to start in Dublin next Tuesday.

If Bale does miss out against Spain, Harry Wilson could be on free-kick duty after his stunning effort at Old Trafford for Derby last month.

The on-loan Liverpool winger scored a spectacular 30-yard effort to earn praise from Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp and a rebuke from his Wales manager and Manchester United great Ryan Giggs.

“He (Klopp) messaged me after the game,” said Wilson, who copied the previous Old Trafford goal celebrations of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard by holding one hand aloft to show five fingers, referring to Liverpool’s five European cups – compared to United’s three.

“He just said ‘fantastic free-kick, really great football’.

“It’s great to hear from the manager whose team you want to be in in the future.

“He (Giggs) did mention a fine to me when I got into camp, but the celebration was just heat of the moment.

“I practice my free-kicks a lot and spend time with a couple of lads to get that technique.

“I think Gareth is definitely top of the pile when it comes to taking them, and rightly so.

“But if he’s not on the pitch for one reason or another, I’ll be putting my name forward.”

Wilson will also be keeping an eye on England during the international break as he shares a Derby flat with fellow loanee Mason Mount.

The Chelsea youngster earned his first England call-up for the Nations League games against Croatia and Spain despite never having played in the Premier League.

“He’s been great for us all season. He’s scoring, assisting and deserves his call-up,” Wilson said.

“Mason’s a great lad to live with, even if he’s a bit messy and the flat is a bit dirty at the minute!

“We go to the cinema, go shopping, go out for food and we try to do that with a couple of our team-mates as well.

“We’re setting up a Come Dine with Me in Derby. Every other week some people will come to our house and we’ve got to cook for them and try some new recipes.

“My speciality is spaghetti bolognese, and I have to say I’m a better chef than Mason.”

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Live Real Madrid Blog: Chelsea believe they'll keep hold of Eden Hazard

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Hola Madridistas!

The Sport360 Team are in place bringing you the latest Real Madrid news on Tuesday.

11:20pm – Hazard warning for Madrid

Chelsea are hopeful they will eventually tie star man Eden Hazard down to a new contract despite Real Madrid’s interest, according to reports.

Read the story here.

7:50pm – Lopetegui is still Nacho’s man

Nacho is set to play right-back against PSG.

Defender Nacho Fernandez has declared the Real Madrid squad remain fully behind embattled head coach Julen Lopetegui, despite the chaos engulfing the club.

Read the story here.

3pm – The Premier League is in Dani Carvajal’s future

carvajal

Dani Carvajal is set for life at Real Madrid after playing such an integral part in their Champions League successes. But Carvajal isn’t interested in spending his entire career in the comfort zone.

Find out here why England is sure to be a stop for the Spain right-back.

1pm – Is it time for Mariano without Karim Benzema for Levante?

Benzema-Real-Madrid

The goals certainly haven’t been flowing for Los Blancos of late – and one of the main culprits is Karim Benzema.

With his calf now playing up, is it time for big-money back-up Mariano to steal the spotlight? Read the news here.

10am – Good news!

Los Blancos schemer Isco is nearing a full return as he steps up his recovery from appendicitis and surgery.

The 26-year-old Spaniard last played against Espanyol in La Liga on September 22nd and has missed Real’s last four matches – three of which ended in defeat.

It is expected Isco will be available for selection in 10 days or so.

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Nacho Fernandez declares Real Madrid players retain faith in coach Julen Lopetegui

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Nacho is set to play right-back against PSG.

Defender Nacho Fernandez has declared the Real Madrid squad remain fully behind embattled head coach Julen Lopetegui, despite the chaos engulfing the club.

Saturday’s historic 1-0 loss at Alaves made it four matches without a win – or a goal – in all competitions. It also saw Los Blancos drop down to fourth in La Liga.

Rumours have grown that Lopetegui’s four-month stay will be brought to a premature end if October 28’s opening Clasico of the season against Barcelona goes against him.

But speaking to EFE, the Spain international insisted the boss retains strong support.

He said: “The players are to the death with the coach. We are calm, we have experienced situations like this, even worse ones, and we have always been able to move forward.

“I cannot guarantee that at the end of the season we will win all the titles. But Real Madrid has always shown that with the coach that is here and with the players that are here, we will always fight for everything.”

Nacho has scored nine times in 167 appearances for Madrid since his April 2011 debut.

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