Liverpool's recent troubles have been punctuated by the news that Real Madrid are set to welcome back Gareth Bale from a buttock injury for the Champions League group game at the Bernabeu.

The Wales international has missed Real's last five games through injury but has returned to training ahead of the European tie as the holders look to book their place in the last 16 this week.

Bale joined the main group in a recovery session following the 4-0 La Liga win over Granada on Sunday, along with Cristiano Ronaldo, and could be fit for the visit of Liverpool on Tuesday.

A Real statement read: "Bale joined the group for the week's last training session, during which Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo worked alone and performed running drills out on the pitch.

"The six outfielders who did not start in Granada, along with Bale, completed a series of demanding dribbling, passing and shooting circuits."

A run of 14 successive wins at the start of the season sees Real top of La Liga and on the brink of qualification for the knock-out phase of the Champions League, and the return of Bale further bolsters their resources.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti said: "Everyone thinks it is a problem, but I think he will help us improve.

"I'm very happy with how the side is playing, but we have to continue to play well and always try to add more to our game."

Both Real and Liverpool's fortunes have been contrasting since their first group meeting last month, with Brendan Rodgers' side having won just once, while Saturday's loss at Newcastle United further exposed the club's problems.

Liverpool have taken just three points from their opening three group games upon their return to the Champions League but know a point in Madrid will leave them well set to reach the last 16 with games to come against Ludogorets Razgrad and FC Basel.