Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that the €100m man Gareth Bale will make his official Real Madrid debut in this weekend’s Liga match away against Villarreal.
The former Paris Saint-Germain coach says Bale will play some part of the game but did not disclose whether or not the 24-year-old would start.
“Bale will travel to Villarreal and will play, although I don’t know if he’ll start or come off the bench,” Ancelotti said at a press conference. “Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo are two excellent players and I have no doubt that they will improve the team together.
“What I like the most about Bale? His motivation and his desire to make an impact here at Madrid. He is very happy and humble.”
I do not expect Bale to start as his appearance for Wales in midweek was the first match he has played in this season. He missed the whole of the preseason due to an ankle injury and is not fit enough to play a full 90 minutes. Look for Ancelotti to ease Bale into the lineup over the next couple of weeks starting with 15-20 minutes against Villarreal.
Ancelotti then went on to discuss the situation of Iker Casillas and revealed that the goalkeeper will feature from the start in their Champions League Group B opener against Galatasaray in midweek.
“On Tuesday, Iker will play from the start, so everybody is calm,” he added.
“It might be an option that Diego Lopez plays in La Liga and Casillas in the Copa del Rey.”
I cannot see this rotation of goalkeepers working for Ancelotti. You cannot play one keeper in the league and another in the cup competitions. He has to settle on one, and stick with him, even if it means that Casillas has to leave the club in January.