Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale will start as a substitute against Barcelona this evening, with Vinicius Jr set to retain his place in the side.
Los Blancos face a huge trip to the Camp Nou on Wednesday night for the first leg of their Copa Del Rey semifinal against arch-rivals Barcelona.
Santiago Solari’s side trails the Blaugrana by eight points in La Liga but they come into the match full of confidence after five consecutive wins in all competitions.
Vinicus Jr has played a vital role in Madrid’s recent success and he even found the net during the team’s 3-0 win against Deportivo Alaves on Sunday, which capped a fine individual display.
According to Goal, Solari will keep faith with the in-form attacker against Barca, while Bale will have to be content with a spot on the bench.
Karim Benzema is set to lead the line for Los Blancos once again, while Lucas Vasquez will start on the opposite flank to Vinicus Jr, completing a fearsome front three.
Bale has struggled with niggling injuries throughout the 2018-19 campaign and his form has been very up and down, with just five goals and two assists to his name in 17 La Liga matches.
The Welshman is still valued at around €80 million – according to Transfermarkt – but at 29-years-old he seems to be in a steady decline, with some experts believing that his time at the Santiago Bernabeu is coming to an end.
That being said, Bale is still quite capable of match-winning moments and he will still be hoping to make an impact off the bench, but it remains to be seen whether or not Solari will grant him that chance.
Meanwhile, Keylor Navas is expected to replace Thibaut Courtois in goal for his customary cup appearance, while Casemiro will be deployed in a midfield holding role for Madrid.
El Clasico rarely fails to disappoint and given Madrid’s recent return to form, Barcelona could be in for a really tough game in their own backyard this evening.