Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has big issues in defence for Tuesday's Champions League quarterfinal first leg at Juventus, with Gareth Bale unlikely to make the starting XI despite his excellent recent goalscoring form in La Liga.
Bale was named man of the match at the Estadio Gran Canaria on Saturday against Las Palmas after scoring a brace. The Wales international has now scored 11 goals in 15 La Liga games this season -- nine of them since the turn of the calendar year.
However, Zidane was cautious in his praise and suggested his thinking had not changed since Bale was left on the bench for both the recent Champions League round-of-16 legs against Paris Saint-Germain.
After the game against Las Palmas on Saturday, defender Jesus Vallejo told reporters that he and his teammates were ready for a tough test against Juve.
"Scoring three and keeping a clean sheet is no mean feat here, so we're heading back to Madrid very happy," Vallejo said. "I'm very pleased to get another game under my belt and to be feeling better after the injury. I've come back [from hamstring injury] feeling great. The whole team is absolutely raring to go for Turin, we're a solid group. It's a crucial game and we're well prepared."
Defender Nacho Fernandez picked up a thigh muscle injury in the win over Las Palmas, and although the 28-year-old, who has never missed a game through injury in his senior career, was named in the travelling squad on Monday morning, the club announced his recovery "will continue to be assessed."
Club captain Sergio Ramos sat out Saturday's game due to a niggle picked up on international duty with Spain last week. Vallejo is the only other senior centre-half in Zidane's squad, which also has very unproven cover in both full-back positions in Achraf Hakimi and Theo Hernandez.