The Argentinean winger has made 99 appearances for Real Madrid in La Liga and if he plays against Barcelona in the Classico this weekend, he’ll bring up the magical three figures.
However, the Spanish press is full of stories surrounding Bale and Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, which suggest the Welshman could well be thrown in at the deep end to start against Barcelona tomorrow.
“Yes, Bale likes to play on the right, and when he plays he'll do so on that flank. He's ready to be a starter,” Ancelotti told Marca.
It’s a difficult decision for the Italian because di Maria has been superb playing on the right so far this season.
The 25-year-old is effective in the opponent’s final third and will be looking to improve vastly on the one goal and two assists he’s so far produced this season.
Bale offers a natural option down the right because of how effective he is cutting inside onto his left foot.
“I feel good shape to be a starter. Had a few minutes this week and I trained well. But the coach will decide if I start on the bench or in the field. I'm sure it will be an amazing experience. Most important thing is that we win the game,” Bale told AS.
There were plenty of examples from his 21 Premier League goals last season, where he would run at the left-back before a late dart into the middle of the pitch before unleashing a bullet from his left foot.
It would be harsh on di Maria considering he’s not done anything wrong to deserve being dropped but Real Madrid paid £85 million for Bale so they need to inject him into the highest pressure situations at some point.
Who would you start, di Maria or Bale?
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