Real Madrid have Ramos back for clasico but Bale sits it out

Reuters, Friday 24 Oct 2014

Sergio Ramos
Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos (Photo: Reuters)

Real Madrid will have their combative Spain centre back Sergio Ramos available for Saturday's "clasico" against Barcelona but Wales winger Gareth Bale is out, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday.

Ramos, who has twice been sent off in recent clasicos, has shaken off a calf injury and should partner Pepe in the middle of defence after missing Wednesday's 3-0 Champions League victory at Liverpool, Ancelotti told a news conference previewing the game at Madrid's Bernabeu home.

However, Bale has not recovered sufficiently from a buttock muscle strain that also kept him out of the game at Anfield, the Italian added.

Barca top the standings with 22 points after eight matches and have yet to concede a goal in the league this season.

They won both league matches against Real last season with a 2-1 win at the Nou Camp and a 4-3 victory in Madrid when Lionel Messi netted a hat-trick for the Catalan side.

Real, after a wobbly start, have come into form in recent weeks and are four points behind their arch rivals in third, one adrift of Sevilla.

Barca's Uruguay forward Luis Suarez is set to make his official debut for the club as his four-month ban for biting an opponent at the World Cup in Brazil ends on Friday.

Messi, meanwhile, is one goal short of the La Liga scoring record of 251 goals set by former Athletic Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra six decades ago.

Ancelotti said Real would have to play a "perfect" game and team work would be crucial if they were to secure victory in the 169th Spanish top-flight meeting between the two European heavyweights. Real have won 70 to Barca's 66 with 32 draws.

"We have to do everything perfectly, attack perfectly and defend perfectly," Ancelotti told reporters.

"The key is that the players understand they have to put their quality at the service of the team."

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