Jaume Costa & Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale (right) suffered a knock in the 3-2 win over Villarreal at El Madrigal Reuters


  • Former Spurs star had knock in 3-2 win over Villarreal but is available to face Canarians.
  • Raphael Varane remains on the sidelines after he missed the weekend clash.
  • Los Blancos remain at the top of La Liga table, one point ahead of Barcelona.

Gareth Bale has been passed fit for visit of Las Palmas on Wednesday (1 March) despite the Real Madrid ace suffering a knock during the 3-2 weekend win over Villarreal. However, Raphael Varane remains on the sidelines while Zinedine Zidane has also left Casemiro, Fabio Coentrao, Danilo and Mariano out of his 19-man squad to face the Canary Islanders.

Bale, 27, set alarms bells ringing at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday after being forced off in the 88<sup>th minute of the game after appearing to land awkwardly on his ankle. The former Tottenham Hotspur star had only returned to action earlier this month following a three-month spell on the sidelines due to a serious ankle blow.

However, Zidane played down the concerns after the game and has now included Bale in his 19-man squad for the visit of Las Palmas, who held Los Blancos to a 2-2 draw at home earlier in the season.

"In Las Palmas we had a great game and they equalised at the end. Technically they know how to play well in possession, especially in midfield, we'll try to not let them play in our half. They've got a lot of quality," Zidane recalled in the press conference ahead of the visit of Quique Setien's side.

The France boss is expected to make some rotations in his line-up as Real Madrid will have another La Liga clash against Eibar on Weekend before the Champions League last 16 second leg with Napoli.

"We win and lose together and that's how it'll be until the end. We have a match every three days and we know the importance of each one. We're prepared for it. You always need more time to recover, but it is what it is and we have to accept it. Tomorrow we're going to play again and we're prepared, apart from the injured players," the boss added.

Many in Spain have urged the manager to give a chance to Isco and Alvaro Morata after the two out-of-favour players came off the bench to inspire the weekend victory over Villarreal – as Los Blancos came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 thanks to a late winner from the former Juventus striker.

Both players have indicated in recent times that they could leave the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the campaign after having grown frustrated with their lack of playing time under Zidane.

But the boss insisted that all his 24 first-team member have a crucial role to play this season whether they start or come off the bench.

"We've got 24 players in the squad and I have to choose. That's one of the hard things about being a coach. You can play a player four games in a row and if he's sub in the next one, he'll be annoyed. It's great for me that everyone wants to play," the Real Madrid boss added. "It's impossible to please everyone and I want to show my team that everyone is important. I talk to the player to tell him when he will play and when he won't. We've got a great team and we're going to need them all. It's always important to talk to the player and tell him things as clearly as possible. In spite of everything, the ones who don't play will never be satisfied."

The dramatic win over Villareal let Real Madrid to remain at the top of La Liga table, one point ahead of Barcelona and with one game in hand.

However, the Barcelona fans and Gerard Pique felt it was unfair as they believed that the referee helped Los Blancos by giving them a penalty at 2-1 when Bruno handled the ball in the area following a rebound.

Sergio Ramos hit back at Pique after the game and Zidane has now appeared to take a dig at the Barcelona centre-back but pointing out that his players never complain about referees.

"I don't get into their decisions and my players also respect what they do," he said when asked about the comments of the Barcelona star. "I have a great changing room in that regard, they only think about working hard and doing things right. I'm very proud of my players because they respect the referees a lot, and everything that they do. I'm with my players until the end."