In fairness to Zinedine Zidane, the best way for dealing with the whole Gareth Bale flag situation might be to get him back in the team as quickly as possible.
As noted by The Sun, the 30-year-old received a backlash in the Spanish media this week after he was seen with a flag which appeared to mock Real Madrid in terms of their importance to the star, as seen in the image below.
If he left him out then it would just raise further questions and speculation about him. Instead, as noted by BBC Sport, the Real Madrid boss appears keen to put the issue behind them and move forward while using Bale if he is fit enough to be in contention.
The squad list for the game against Real Sociedad has been released, and Bale has been included. There’s also some good news in the form of a return from Marcelo. The Brazilian has been a key player for years but suffered an injury in the Champions League clash against Galatasaray and missed the outing against Eibar as a result, as noted by Marca.
Ferland Mendy is also included, but he arguably hasn’t shown enough in his four La Liga appearances so far to suggest he’s worthy of taking Marcelo’s spot as the first choice at left-back.
It’s not clear if Bale will start the game, but it will be interesting to see what kind of reception he receives after being spotted with that flag during the celebrations for Wales earlier this week.
It certainly seems like these fans are not ready to welcome him back just yet as his inclusion in the squad was met with an angry response from many…
— Real Madrid C.F. ???? (@realmadriden) November 22, 2019
— ? (@reaImrdrid) November 22, 2019
G A R E T H B A L E O U T ! ! !
— Ankur Sinha (@ankursinha95) November 22, 2019
— Velam Dahlström (@VelamDahlstrom) November 22, 2019
— Luis (@M7rques) November 22, 2019
Wales. Golf. Madrid.
In that order.
— Lunga Biyela (@KingBiyela) November 22, 2019
— Sampaolé (@sampaole) November 22, 2019
— Benjamin Arthur (@BenArthur_) November 22, 2019
— Christian Williams (@Rumb3lly) November 22, 2019
WTF is bale doing there? Gj Zidan ????
— Hayk (@Hike2manyan) November 22, 2019
Despite the frosty Twitter reaction to Bale’s return, you can be pretty sure if he plays well and scores goals then they will welcome him back yet again.
Most of the team does seem to pick itself, it’s just the role on the right wing that seems to be up in the air going into this one. Zidane might be tempted to go with Rodrygo from the start given his impressive impact before the break, but perhaps we’ll get to see Bale at some point just to see how the fans take to him.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this game could be Martin Odegaard’s performance. A story from Sport confirmed he should be available to play, so it seems there’s nothing in his loan deal to prevent him from playing against his parent club. With these situations it almost seems inevitable that he will score.