Madrid: Real Madrid footballer Gareth Bale is doubtful for Wednesday's Champions League away match against Liverpool FC at Anfield as he is struggling to shake off a muscle injury picked up on international duty with Wales.
A problem with his gluteus muscle will be tested on Tuesday to see if Bale will be able to make the trip but if he is unable to recover, his place in the side will be taken by Isco, who used the opportunity at the weekend to net Real Madrid's fifth goal against Levante in a 5-0 win, reports Xinhua.
The long-awaited game is the first since Liverpool beat Real Madrid 4-0 in last 16 of the competition in 2009 and it comes with the English side struggling for form while Real Madrid have produced some of their best performances in recent weeks, scoring goals almost at will.
Liverpool are struggling without the injured striker Daniel Sturridge and missing Luis Suarez, who was sold to FC Barcelona over the summer, and are facing defensive problems.
Real Madrid will be optimistic they can gain a modicum of revenge for that heavy defeat suffered five years ago.
Real Madrid's star forward Cristiano Ronaldo hit his 14th and 15th league goals of the campaign in the away win to Levante on Saturday and looks in ominous form. Though Liverpool should put up more resistance than the weak Levante side, the threat is for the Brendan Rodgers-coached side is clear to see.
The win in the Ciudad de Valencia Stadium was produced without the injured Bale while Karim Benzema, Rafael Varene and Sergio Ramos were also missing.
Benzema and Varene both had fever but will be in perfect shape for Anfield while Ramos has been struggling with a back injury and is doubtful to recover in time.
Rodgers said on Monday that Ronaldo and Bale could both 'run in the Olympics' but he would hope Bale sits out this match as it would reduce his worries considerably.