Former Real Madrid Star Criticises Bale

Bale was injured playing against Villarreal

Bale was injured playing against Villarreal

Gareth Bale lacks the qualities to be the leader Real Madrid need now that Cristiano Ronaldo is not at the club, according to former forward Predrag Mijatovic.

Having won every of their domestic matches in the month of December, Santiago Solari's men come into this fixture on the back of a 2-2 draw at Villarreal, they will thus be eager to return to winning ways on Sunday - offered at enticing odds of (1.37) with NairaBet.

"We think the injury is not too serious", said Solari.

"If a player starts the game and feels good, [let him continue]", said Mijatovic.

Thursday in Villarreal brought another injury for Gareth Bale following a clash with midfielder Javi Fuego just before half-time and he was replaced at the break. "[Bale] will have tests today and we all hope that he is back with us quickly". "His recovery will continue to be assessed".

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He succeeded Julen Lopetegui, who was sacked in October when Real Madrid were also seven points behind Barca.

Solari, however, insisted "you can not underestimate draws", and added: "The important thing is to keep climbing the table".

"We must not underestimate [the importance of] draws, even though we want to win every game". We must go out and battle every game, take on this hard challenge. We are happy with what we are doing. "La Liga is long and in times of adversity, you see character".

They know Solari, the players and the board; LaLiga Santander and the Copa del Rey are at stake, and it has been made clear that a repeat of last season - where Madrid lost to Leganes in the cup and were miles behind Barcelona in the league - is unacceptable.

Solari, meanwhile, has been told to forget other commitments and stories when it comes to deciding upon his squad or making decisions; the idea is to play the best, regardless of what is going on.

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