Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is ready to deploy former Tottenham star Gareth Bale ahead of Javier Hernandez for the Champions League first-leg semi-final against Juventus on 5 May, even though the Manchester United loanee was a key figure in the quarter-finals of the competition, reports in Spain claim.
After being overshadowed by the Italian boss during much of the campaign, Hernandez took advantage of the injuries to both Bale and Karim Benzema in recent weeks to prove his worth at the Santiago Bernabeu by partnering Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Mexico international led Los Blancos to the Champions League semi-final after scoring the winner against Atletico Madrid and has contributed to a further six goals in his last five La Liga starting appearances, scoring three while providing another three assists.
The United loanee has conquered the hearts of the Real Madrid supporters but it looks he is yet to convince Ancelotti he deserves a starting place in his line-up.
Both Spanish newspaper Marca and AS claim the Italian boss is ready to start without a number nine during the crucial game against Juventus, using Bale and Ronaldo up front while relegating Hernandez to the bench.
Ancelotti confirmed in a press conference that Bale will start after he returned to action during the second-half of the 3-2 victory over Sevilla on 3 May.
The manager said: "He's perfectly fit. He had a minor injury and we've given him time to make sure he recovers well. He's been preparing well and we gave him a 30-minute run-out against Sevilla and he looked fresh."
However, the Italian manager was coy on Hernandez's role. He said: "It's not a problem for us when Chicharito is playing like he is.
"He has really helped us a lot. He was ready when I called him to step into the side and he will continue to be a help to the team because he is an important player for us. He can either play from the start or come on later without any problems. He's in a great moment and all of us have to enjoy it."