Carlo Ancelotti hinted Gareth Bale could start against rivals Barcelona as the two titan’s clash horns at the Nou Camp this saturday.
A win for Real Madrid will take them to 25-points, level with the Catalans who dropped points for the first time this season in their goalless draw at Osasuna.
Los Blancos have won their last four games in all competitions and go into the tie with great confidence, knowing that a win and loss for Athletic Madrid will see them go joint top.
Bale made a second half substitute’s appearance in their Champions League win over Juventus mid-week, but seemed off the mark as he continues his recovery from a thigh injury.
However, Ancelotti told www.realmadrid.com: “It is important for him to get match time, his fitness is better and he is ready to play a match now.”
The two sides meet for the first time in the League this season, and Barcelona new-boy Neymar is set to join the Welshman in experiencing his first taste of the Classico atmosphere.
Cristiano Ronaldo will also be vital for Madrid with the midfielder scoring an impressive 15 goals this term, a mid-week double breaking his own Champions League record has him looking a major threat going into the derby.
Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Neymar, Messi, Alexis.
Real Madrid: Lopez; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Khedira, Illarramendi; Di Maria, Modric, Ronaldo; Benzema.