Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema are likely to start their Champions League semi-final first leg against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. The attacking duo had both been injury doubts for the crucial tie in Manchester, but Zindane has revealed they should be "fine" to play.
Zidane said the pair were likely to start the game, provided they came through Real's last training session without suffering any further problems. "The idea is that we want Karim and Cristiano to play," the Frenchman said during his pre-match press conference, according to the official Manchester City website. "We have the last training session now and we'll see. I think they'll be fine but we'll test everything.
"They're fine today – they're players who look after themselves physically, 100 percent. I think they'll be fine to play."
Ronaldo, 31, was left out of Saturday's 3-2 win against Rayo Vallecano because of a thigh strain, but the record-breaking forward appears to be fit to start Real's all-important Champions League tie. The Portuguese star is likely to be joined in the Real starting line-up by France international Karim Benzema, who limped off before half-time against Rayo with a hamstring problem.
Meanwhile, Gareth Bale denied recent reports of a falling out between himself and Ronaldo, insisting they have a good working relationship. "The media tries to create something that's not there. We get on fine. The most important thing is the game, is football. And yeah, we try to go out there and win trophies," Bale said during the press conference.
"I'm always ready to help the team, we always play together and no matter who scores the goals, we work for the what's best for the team."
The Welsh forward also revealed Real will try to play on the front foot at the Etihad Stadium, despite acknowledging City are an accomplished side in their own right. "We want to stamp our authority on the game and score as many goals as we can. But obviously, we know it is going to be difficult," he explained.