Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that Gareth Bale and Marcelo are ready to return to action for the La Liga game against Celta Vigo on Saturday (5 March) after including the duo in his 19-man squad. Dani Carvajal and Sergio Ramos are also back available after suspension but Toni Kross will miss the game with flu alongside Luka Modric, Karim Benzema and Alvaro Arbeloa, who already missed the midweek victory over Levante.
Los Blancos will welcome Eduardo Berizzo's side one week after appearing to wave goodbye to their hopes to win the La Liga title with a 1-0 defeat against Atletico Madrid, being already 12 points behind Barcelona. Even though Real Madrid managed to put that setback behind with a midweek win against Levante, the club's sights are now set on the Champions League to save their season, with a last-16 second leg against Roma to be played on Tuesday after they won 2-0 away.
The French manager has welcomed back Bale and Marcelo to the team, in order to get them some playing time before the European clash. The former Tottenham star, nevertheless, returned to training earlier this week but is yet to play a single minute since suffering a muscle injury to his right soleus during the victory over Sporting Gijon on 17 January. Meanwhile, Marcelo has missed the last two games with Atletico Madrid and Levante due to a problem in his calf.
"Marcelo is ready to return," the Real Madrid boss confirmed in the press conference as quoted by AS. "Gareth is in the squad list too. It's great news for all of us. We'll take it step by step and see how he gets on. The important thing is that he is fit to play for Madrid.I don't know how long he's been out but the most important thing is that he is back with us."
Modric, who also missed the win over Levante, has already returned to training but Zidane has opted to leave him out of the squad with hopes to have him fully fit for the Roma clash.
"Modric isn't on the list. He's not ready yet and we need him for Tuesday's game," the boss confirmed while adding that Kroos has been the latest star to join to his concerns "because he got flu".
Meanwhile, Zidane has called up once again academy starlet Borja Mayoral to complete his 19-man squad after the striker covered the absence of Benzema against Levante. The starlet is expected to start against Celta again as the Frenchman remains on the sidelines but the boss refused to confirm whether he would rotate the rest of his players ahead of the Champions League game with Roma, while confirming that Arbeloa is also off the list.
"I'm not looking at Tuesday's game yet, tomorrow's game is more important now," the Real Madrid legend added. "There might be changes to the team but I'm not going to reveal my starting line-up. All of the players are important to me. I'm not happy that the only player who hasn't played yet is Arbeloa. He'll get minutes before the end of the season but not tomorrow, he's not in the list."
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