Real Madrid's Bale fit for Bayern Munich test

Reuters, Monday 28 Apr 2014

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale celebrates his goal against Real Valladolid during their Spanish First Division soccer match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid November 30, 2013. (Photo:Reuters)

Gareth Bale has declared himself fit and ready to play in Tuesday's Champions League semi-final at Bayern Munich after missing Real Madrid's 4-0 league win over Osasuna at the weekend due to flu.

"I feel good. I've had a few days training," Bale told reporters on Monday. "I'm hoping to play tomorrow and looking forward to it. We are ready to give it 100 percent, our best shot. I don't feel like we've qualified for the final yet."

Real are eyeing their 10th European crown and lead 1-0 from the first leg in Madrid last week.

Bale had been rested for Saturday's league win but is expected to feature in the starting lineup in Munich alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, who netted twice against Osasuna.

Real will need all their firepower as the Germans plan an all-out assault to score more than one goal against a team that kept them at bay in the first leg and are extremely dangerous on the counter attack.

They are also out to take revenge for their semi-final defeat on penalties to the Germans at the same stage two years ago.

"We have a slight advantage from the first leg coming here but that is it," Real coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters.

"We know tomorrow's game is going to be very difficult. We are not that stupid as to think we have already qualified."

Ancelotti said he expected Bayern again to go out to dominate possession, as in the first leg, with Real lurking on the break.

The Bavarians enjoyed close to 65 percent possession in Madrid -- some 78 percent in the first half alone -- but did not make that advantage count.

"I don't think tactically the game is going to change a lot tomorrow. Bayern have their footballing philosophy, but I don't think tactics will be all-important," the Italian said.

"I actually think the mental side of things will be more important.

"It is possible to advance even if we don't score, but our intention is to do so. We have scored a lot in the Champions League and in the Liga and my intention is that we do so again in this one."

Bayern have had a rocky end to their Bundesliga season after clinching the title in record time with seven games to spare. They have conceded two goals or more in three of their last four league games, having lost two of them.

"We need to start stronger, and must make a big effort. We will need maximum effort from everyone in order to reach the final," Ancelotti said.

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