Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale could be set for his final appearance for the club, when they face off against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
Real Madrid will be aiming to end what has been a long and difficult 2018-19 campaign on a high, when they welcome Quique Setien’s Real Betis side to the Bernabeu, for their final La Liga game of the season.
The game against Betis could turn out to be the last one in Real Madrid colours for goalkeeper Keylor Navas. The Costa Rican is likely to leave in the summer, with Thibaut Courtois set to be the first-choice for Zidane next season. The manager was quizzed about his situation in his pre-match press conference.
“There’s a lot of talk about what’s going to happen: that so and so-and-so is staying and so-and-so is leaving, that I’ve said goodbye to Keylor, that I want him to leave. What I’ve said is that the situation regarding the goalkeepers next season will be crystal clear. That’s all there is to it. We’ll have to see what happens.”
While Zidane is remaining coy on the situation, there is a good chance that Navas will be on his way out and that is why he is likely to get the nod on Sunday ahead of Courtois.
In defence, captain Sergio Ramos and Alvaro Odriozola remain out with injuries, while Jesus Vallejo is suspended after being sent off last week against Real Sociedad. Three of the four player who started last time are set to feature again, with Dani Carvajal, Nacho and Marcelo all holding on to their spots. Raphael Varane will return to the team in place of the suspended Vallejo.
Real Madrid will be without midfield mainstay Casemiro, who is also suspended for accumulation of cards. Dani Ceballos, who scored the winning goal for Los Blancos in the reverse fixture, has been omitted from the 19-man squad named by Zidane ahead of the game.
In Casemiro’s absence, Marcos Llorente should step in as the defensive midfielder, while Luka Modric is also set to return after not featuring in the last fixture. Toni Kroos could be left out on the bench, with Zidane likely to hand the young Federico Valverde a chance to impress on Sunday.
Another player who could possibly be bidding farewell to Real Madrid in the summer is Gareth Bale. The Welshman has struggled for game time since Zidane’s return and is poised to leave, meaning Sunday’s match could be his final appearance for the club.
Speaking of Bale’s future, Zidane said in his conference, “I don’t know whether this will be his last game. We’re at the end of the season and next year there’ll be changes, but I don’t know whether this will be his last game or not.”
The 29-year-old Bale should be handed a start against Betis on Sunday, with January signing Brahim Diaz holding on to his spot after scoring in the defeat last week. Top scorer Karim Benzema will be spearheading the attack for Real Madrid.