Real vs. Dortmund Team News: Ancelotti Backs Bale to Shine, Lewandowski Out of Bernabeu Cracker

Carlo Ancelotti says record signing Gareth Bale has exhibited the right attitude since joining Real Madrid, amidst criticism the winger is yet to make salient contributions in big games.

Bale scored twice as Real bounced from consecutive defeats by Barcelona and Sevilla to thrash Rayo Vallecano 5-0 on Saturday. The brace took Bale’s tally so far in the ongoing season to 16.

Real hosts last season losing-finalists, Borussia Dortmund, in a Champions League quarter-finals first leg tie and the Italian is expected to name the former Tottenham Hotspur striker in his squad.

Gareth Bale Will Not Replace Marcello at Left- Back, Says Ancelotti.
Gareth Bale Will Not Replace Marcello at Left- Back, Says Ancelotti.

“I think it is true he is a little intermittent, but that is a characteristic of all forwards and especially very quick players,” Ancelotti said ahead of Wednesday night’s tie.

“Players with that speed can’t have a continuous influence like other players with different characteristics like Xabi Alonso.

“His inconsistency is a physical characteristic of the player, like Cristiano Ronaldo or Karim Benzema. It is not an attitude problem.”

Left-back Marcelo is sidelined for the last-eight tie but the manager says he will use Fabio Coentrao instead of thrusting Bale in the same position he had once occupied at Southampton.

Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski is suspended. Jurgen Klopp’s side will be without five other players through injury- defenders Neven Subotic and Marcel Schmelzer, and midfielders Sven Bender, Ilkay Gundogan, Jakub Blaszczykowski.

Congo DR international Pierre-Emmerick Aubemayang is expected to replace Lewandowski up front.

The Polish striker scored four goals as his team knocked out the Los Blancos in last year’s semi-finals. Dortmund went on to clinch the tie 4-3 on aggregate, having secured a 2-2 draw in Madrid in the group stage, following their 2-1 win over the same opponent at the Westfalenstadion.