Gareth Bale edging back to full fitness

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Gareth Bale – the main reason Wales’ are in the Euro 2020 betting mix for qualifying for France – could be included in Real Madrid’s squad to face Espanyol on Sunday night.

The Welshman has been sidelined after suffering a calf strain in the match against Villarreal earlier this month but returned to light training this week.

Santiago Solari did not risk Bale in Thursday’s Copa del Rey victory over Girona but he could include the forward in his squad for the trip to Barcelona on Sunday.

“Football is always all about the next game,” Solari said in his pre-match press conference. “We’ll have to see who plays tomorrow and who plays in our next games. The players that are recovering are working their way back to fitness and we want them to be at 100 per cent. He’s a fantastic footballer and we’re delighted to have him back.”

Brazilian youngster Vinicius Jr. has impressed since replacing Bale on the left of Los Blancos’ attack, leaving Solari with a welcome dilemma in his starting eleven when Bale is ready to return.

Only Keylor Navas and Jesus Vallejo remain absent through injury but are expected to step up their returns in the coming week.

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