UEFA Champions League Quarter Final – 5th April 2011 – KO 19:45 – Ground: Santiago Bernabeu
Gareth Bale and Real Madrid’s Ronaldo look set to play in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash at the Bernabeu.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is confident that the influential Bale, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury he sustained on international duty for Wales, will make the starting X1.
Bale trained with his team-mates on Monday night and providing he suffers no recurrence of the injury he will start.
William Gallas travelled with the Tottenham squad and could be included in the line-up, but Redknapp will only make a decision on his fitness on Tuesday.
Redknapp has limited defensive options for the clash at the Bernabeu with Michael Dawson and Sebastien Bassong the only centre-backs fit and the news that Gallas has travelled with the squad will be a boost to Spurs’ hopes of getting a result.
Redknapp’s counterpart, Mourinho, who brought Premier League success to Chelsea during his time in charge at Stamford Bridge, has included former World Player of the Year, Ronaldo, in his matchday squad.
The talismanic Ronaldo had been a doubt for the match after suffering a hamstring injury against Atletico Madrid just over a fortnight ago that ruled him out of two international friendlies and Saturday’s Primera Division defeat to Sporting Gijon.
However, it now seems he will form part of the significant attacking threat the home side will present to their north London opponents in the Spanish capital.
That threat will not include Karim Benzema – the France international had been fighting to return to fitness in time for the clash after injuring his hamstring while on international duty last month.
“Benzema no chance (of playing), absolutely no chance, he’s not even training with us,” Mourinho said.
Tottenham have enjoyed a dream Champions League debut, beating the likes of Inter Milan and AC Milan on their way to the quarter-finals, but the White Hart Lane outfit go into Tuesday’s match having drawn their last three matches 0-0.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, suffered a setback on Saturday when Mourinho surrendered his 150-game unbeaten record in league home matches to Sporting Gijon, but the ‘Special One’ is determined to guide his side to the last four of the competition as he looks to win the Champions League with a third club.
Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
Real Madrid: LWWWW
Tottenham (from): Gomes, Pletikosa, Cudicini, Bassong, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto, Dawson, Corluka, Bale, Sandro, Jenas, Lennon, Rose, Huddlestone, Modric, Crouch, Kranjcar, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe, Van der Vaart.
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