Real Madrid-Atletico Madrid Preview: Bale set for home debut in derby showdown

Gareth Bale is expected to make his home Real Madrid debut in the derby clash with Atletico Madrid on Saturday after overcoming a thigh injury.

The world record signing has missed Real’s last two matches with the problem after pulling up in the warm-up ahead of the 4-1 victory over Getafe, but he returned to training on Thursday.

Bale rejoins a squad that will be full of confidence following their controversial victory over Elche on Wednesday, although they will likely still have the words of coach Carlo Ancelotti ringing in their ears.

Ancelotti’s side needed a highly debatable, last-gasp penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo to secure the points with the last kick of the game in midweek to stay within two points of their city rivals and Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

Atletico made it six wins out of six with their 2-1 win over Osasuna on Tuesday and they will be hoping to maintain their perfect record in the first Madrid derby of the season.

They won their last meeting with the Blancos in extra-time in last season’s Copa del Rey final but they have not tasted league success against their capital counterparts since 1999.

Coach Diego Simeone will be hoping to break that run of 23 league games without a win and they will be brimming with confidence after their perfect start to the Liga campaign.

Real will need to stop striker Diego Costa if they are to take all three points on Saturday, with the 24-year-old Brazilian having netted his sixth and seventh goals of the season in the midweek win.

Xabi Alonso is definitely out for the hosts with a foot injury, while Adrian will be missing for the visitors with a fractured cheekbone.

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