The Real Madrid squad completed their final day's training ahead of the Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund. The Wednesday evening game completes the group stage for Los Blancos, one which will confirm them as qualifiers for the knock-out stages in second place, while determining if the Bundesliga side have European football to look forward to in the new year.
Bale and Carvajal missing
At his disposal, manager Zinedine Zidane has 23 players at his disposal: 22 from the first team squad plus Álvaro Tejero, who has previous experience stepping up. The only two absences are Dani Carvajal, who is serving his initial one match suspension (which could be increased), and Gareth Bale, injured once again, and with no return date set. Both players continued to work separately inside the training facilities at Valdebebas.
Bale might return against Sevilla, says Zidane
Asked about Bale in his pre-match press conference, the Frenchman said that the forward might be fit to return against Sevilla in LaLiga this Saturday, and confirmed that he will travel to the United Arab Emirates for this month's Club World Cup. "I don't know [if Bale will be back this weekend]," he said. "We'll see about the Sevilla game this week. He hasn't trained with us yet; he's still [doing work] in the gym. The first thing he has to do is train with the team, see how he feels and then we'll see. But he'll be with us for Abu Dhabi."
Asensio leads young charge
Good news for Zidane was the recovery of some of the fringe players who could be given more pitch time in an effort to demonstrate that they can compete for a starting place, or at least provide suitable cover, including last year's young sensation, Marco Asensio. He was left out of the trip to Bilbao at the weekend but looks ready, as do his young teammates Vallejo, Achraf and Marcos Llórente.