Saturday 22 October 2016

Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema to return to Madrid starting line-up for Juventus semi-final

Holders Real Madrid are likely to have forwards Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema back for next week's Champions League semi-final first leg at Juventus, coach Carlo Ancelotti said.

Wales winger Bale (right) has been sidelined by a calf injury for just over a week, while France striker Benzema has not featured since hurting his knee in the Champions League quarter-final first leg at Atletico Madrid on April 14.

Ancelotti, whose side host relegation-threatened Almeria in La Liga tonight, said Bale was due to return to training with his team mates tomorrow and Benzema would probably be back with them on Sunday.

Their return will boost Real for what Ancelotti called a "life and death" couple of weeks, when in addition to the Juve tie in Europe's elite club competition they play at Sevilla and host Valencia in La Liga. "It's a time of the season when all the games are life and death for every team," Ancelotti, a former Juve coach, said.

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