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Former Tottenham man to step up in Real Madrid star's absence?

Real Madrid At Bernabeu

Not for the first time this season, Carlo Ancelotti will be calling on Gareth Bale to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo's absence.

The Portugal star was sent off in Real Madrid's 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao on Sunday and now faces three games on the sidelines after the length of his suspension was announced.

Ronaldo received a one-match ban for his red card but a further two matches for a gesture he made as he left the pitch, meaning he will miss La Liga matches against Villarreal, Getafe and Elche - subject to an appeal.

Madrid boss Ancelotti, however, is confident former Spurs man Bale can deputise during Ronaldo's absence.

The Italian revealed that he specifically left the 24-year-old out of Real's 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final to keep him fresh for the games Ronaldo will miss.

"It’s not a relapse and he’s fine. On Saturday we won’t be able to use Cristiano, so with Gareth fresh and ready, that could be very good for us. That’s why we preferred to give him a rest," Ancelotti told reporters.

On the sending off itself, he said: "Nobody is happy about it. Three games without him isn’t normal. That’s why we’ve appealed against it. Three games suspension for what he’s done, isn’t normal either."

Bale has already filled in for Ronaldo this season, when the 29-year-old injured his hamstring back in November. Memorably, the Welshman scored a 35-yard free kick against Galatasaray in the Champions League.

We could be seeing more of the same very soon...

image: © jansolo09

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