Bale has missed nearly half the minutes since he joined Real Madrid

"[Gareth] will go with his country if he has to go with his country", Zidane said when asked if Bale would join up with Wales next week. He trains with Cristiano [Ronaldo] every day and he is learning from him.

We want to keep doing what we've been doing and to win well. "It [Ronaldo's contract] is a club issue and I'm not getting involved in it". "It is a good stadium to try to demonstrate that we are competitive".

Ultimately, he has decided not to gamble on Bale's fitness, with the former Tottenham star's plight also of interest to Wales boss Chris Coleman, whose squad face pivotal World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and the Republic of Ireland over the next week eight days.

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RCD Espanyol: Quique Sanchez Flores has confirmed that first-teamers Pablo Piatti and Victor Sanchez are out with muscular injuries, while Hernan Perez was not amongst the 18 man squad that travelled.

By that time, Real Madrid were already ahead through Isco's opener, but the visitors' renewed intensity and tempo after the restart changed the dynamic of the contest. Keeping Madrid frustrated and winless at home for as long as possible will be the goal of all of La Liga, and it's going to be interesting to see what it takes for the defending Champions League winners to break that ill fortune.

Marcelo will likely be replaced by Nacho Fernandez, while Gareth Bale has Lucas Vazquez and Marcos Asensio who have proven to be more than capable of replacing him.

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As for Espanyol, Pablo Piatti was ruled out of the match due to a muscular problem, which saw Marc Roca come into a team which included both Gerard Moreno and Leo Baptistao in the final third of the field.

Bale, who signed with Real Madrid in 2013 has missed 9,346 minutes since he arrived at the club. That confidence shone through in midweek, with Real Madrid beating Borussia Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion for the first time in their history.

Spanish champions Real Madrid will return to action with a trip to capital rivals Getafe after the worldwide break, while Espanyol's next league match is at home to Levante.

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