April 14, 2015 10:13:03 UK
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has declared Gareth Bale fit for Tuesday’s mouth-watering Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash against Atletico Madrid.
The Wales international, whose form has come under scrutiny and car was attacked by angry supporters following the ‘El Clasico’ defeat by bitter rivals Barcelona at the end of March, was rested for Saturday’s 3-0 La Liga win over Eibar because of a knock.
“The key to his unbelievable season last year was that he scored in the Copa del Rey and Champions League final. He will be important like he was last year.”
Carlo Ancelotti on Gareth Bale
Ancelotti said the former Tottenham flyer was over the injury problem and backed the 25-year-old to have a strong end to the season.
“Gareth Bale is in good shape, I have a fully fit squad,” the Italian told reporters at his press briefing.
“Gareth Bale had a fantastic season last season and is having a really good season until now. The key to his unbelievable season last year was that he scored in the Copa del Rey and Champions League final. He will be important like he was last year.”
Three-time Champions League-winning coach Ancelotti said he was under no illusion about the size of the task facing his players at Vicente Calderon.
Diego Simeone’s La Liga champions have not lost in six derby meetings against Los Blancos since suffering a heart-breaking 4-1 defeat by Los Blancos in the Champions League final last May.
In February this year they smashed their capital rivals 4-0 on home soil and Ancelotti said the holders face a huge test of their credentials.
“Of course they’re a tough team. Defensively they are very strong and they’ve played well against us in the last few meetings. It’s a team we respect,” he added.
“They fight from the first minute until the last minute. I want to see my team compete and fight until the very end. That’s what I’d like to see from my players.”
Atletico Madrid are currently priced 2.90 in the match betting and the draw is quoted outcome 3.25. Real Madrid can be backed at 2.70 in the 90 minutes market.
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