Ronaldo and Benzema join Bale in missing Sporting clash

Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema will join injured Gareth Bale on the sidelines when Real Madrid travel to play Sporting Gijon in LaLiga.

Bale is not being risked for Saturday's match due to a calf problem and his fellow first-choice forwards will also miss out after being rested by head coach Zinedine Zidane.

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The decision comes with Madrid facing crucial matches against Bayern Munich and Barcelona in the week following the Sporting clash.

Goalkeeper Keylor Navas has also been left out of Madrid's squad for the Sporting game, leaving Zidane with depleted numbers to choose from.

Full-back Dani Carvajal was already ruled out with suspension, while Raphael Varane and Pepe are out through injury.

Castilla player Alvaro Tejero has been called up to make up the numbers in Madrid's 18-man squad and Fabio Coentrao could make only his second league appearance of the season.

The possibility of the full-back making a rare outing was talked up by Zidane in his pre-match media conference earlier on Friday.

Madrid are three points clear of Barca at the top of the table with a game in hand. Luis Enrique's men are also in action on Saturday with a home match against Real Sociedad.

The two teams meet in El Clasico next Sunday after Madrid have hosted Bayern on Tuesday. Zidane's side hold a 2-1 lead in the Champions League quarter-final tie.

 

Real Madrid squad to play Sporting: Casilla, Yanez, Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo, Coentrao, Danilo, Tejero, Kroos, James, Casemiro, Kovacic, Modrid, Asensio, Isco, Vazquez, Mariano, Morata.

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