Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale was booed by sections of Real Madrid's support during the friendly win over Galatasaray Reuters

Real Madrid will look to get their 2015/16 campaign off to a winning start when they face newly-promoted Sporting Gijon at El Molinon on 23 August.

Where to watch live

Kick-off is set for 7.30pm BST. The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 3 HD.


Rafael Benitez shrugged off concerns over the lack of goals scored by his forwards in pre-season after Real Madrid stuttered to a 2-1 victory over Galatasaray in the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy earlier this week.

Concerns remain over the form of Gareth Bale, who was jeered by sections of the Santiago Bernabeu crowd in the Galatasaray match after a subdued performance. A poll done by the Madrid-affiliated Marca revealed a majority of fans want the Welsh forward Gareth Bale to be dropped from the starting XI for the trip to Sporting Gijon.

But Benitez has defended Bale from criticism and is likely to persist with him in a free role behind Jese, who is likely to start with Karim Benzema out injured.

Sporting are close to completing the signing of Barcelona youngster Alen Halilovic on a season-long loan and could hand a starting role to the Croatia international against Real.

What managers say

Abelardo Fernandez: "I've spoken with Halilovic to tell him what I expect from him. Now, it's up to him. He's a player who will add something that we don't already have in the squad. If he comes then I'll be delighted, but if he doesn't then I'll wish him the best of luck wherever he goes."

Rafael Benitez: "Cristiano [Ronaldo] had many chances [against Galatasaray], not worried, same about Bale, James [Rodriguez]. Most important is to make the chances, today we had 22 shots at goal. I am not worried about that at all. I am thinking more about [the forwards] closing off the opposition bringing out the ball from the back, stopping them making chances."

Form guide

  • Sporting Gijon (pre-season friendlies): LWLDW
  • Last result: Sporting Gijon 0-1 Villarreal (pre-season friendly)
  • Real Madrid (pre-season friendlies): WDLWD
  • Last result: Real Madrid 2-1 Galatasaray (pre-season friendly)

Betting odds (888sport)

  • Sporting Gijon win: 11
  • Draw: 5
  • Real Madrid win: 1/4

Team news

Sporting Gijon: Cuellar; Hernandez, Lora, Espinosa, Lopez; Cases, Alvarez; Fraile, Halilovic, Sanabria; Castro

Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos; Rodriguez, Bale, Ronaldo; Jese