Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Real Madrid will definitely be without winger Gareth Bale for the Spanish El Clasico against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernebeu on Saturday.
Addressing the media in the press room at Anfield, the Italian boss said Welshman pulled his right gluteus muscle while “taking a shot on Friday”.
“He (Bale) isn’t available for this match (away to Liverpool) or for Saturday (at home to Barca),” said Ancelotti.
Bale was an unused substitute in Real’s 5-0 win over Levante and has not travelled with the side to Merseyside.
The manager also confirmed that Coentrao will not be available for the crucial La Liga clash with the Catalan rivals while Sergio Ramos faces late assessment.
“Ramos is training to be available for El Clásico. Coentrão isn’t available.
“Bale travelled to Valencia because it seemed like an overload, but afterwards this showed up when he had a scan,” he added.
Arebloa Relishes Anfield Return
“Alvaro Arbeloa will play” against his former employers five years after leaving for Madrid, Ancelotti has also revealed.
The Spaniard, who played in Liverpool’s famous 4-0 home defeat of Madrid in the 2008/09 round of 16, spoke about the “tremendous atmosphere” at Anfield.
He said: “I’ve certainly told them about the tremendous atmosphere that will await them. One thing for sure is the supporters will really get behind Liverpool and drive them forward. It’s a very special game for Liverpool, not just because they are welcoming Real Madrid but because they have been out of the Champions League for five years or so.”
“It is a special day for me. I am really happy to be back in Liverpool and here at Anfield. Many things have changed since the last time we played here. We are a new team and Liverpool have new players also. I think there are only three Liverpool players, if I’m not wrong – Stevie [Gerrard], Martin [Škrtel] and Lucas – who were here last time. So it is a different game, with different preparation – and we know that.”