Eibar v Real Madrid preview: Cristiano Ronaldo an injury doubt and Gareth Bale banned
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 04/03/17 2:23pm
Real Madrid could be without both Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo as they head to Eibar on Saturday (kick-off 3.15pm GMT), with the battle at the top of La Liga intensifying.
Zinedine Zidane's men fought back from 3-1 down to draw with Las Palmas at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night, where Ronaldo scored two late goals after Bale had been sent off.
The Wales forward has been hit with a two-game ban following his dismissal so will definitely sit out the trip to the Ipurua Municipal Stadium - and Zidane is also sweating on the fitness of Ronaldo after he did not train with his team-mates on Friday.
Despite rallying to secure a point against Las Palmas, the draw allowed Barcelona to move above Real after they had earlier beaten Sporting Gijon 6-1.
Real still hold a game in hand on the Catalan side and remain two points ahead of third-placed Sevilla, with Zidane calling on all of his players to stand up and be counted as he explained why Ronaldo was absent from Friday's session.
"He wasn't feeling 100 per cent and that is why he did not train today," he told the club's website.
"All of the games are important, but the key thing is that the players do well, so now we have to see what we're going to do with Cristiano.
"I have 24 players and my message has always been the same since I arrived: everyone is important. I am not going to change.
"I have to make decisions and some players will be left out and others on the bench. If we want to win LaLiga we cannot drop points, playing every three days we will need to rotate.
"I am not going to disregard anyone, I am satisfied with all of my players, whatever happens between now and the end".
Zidane believes the players are paying the price for a slow start in recent matches, having lost last month away at Valencia.
"We are not doing as well as we were before. We have been poor in the first half of the last three or four games," the Frenchman added.
"At the end of the day we cannot be content with what we are doing, but we have time to change and we will turn it around."
Eibar midfielder Pedro Leon knows full well the challenge which will await the home side, no matter what form Real Madrid may be bringing.
"Wednesday's result was not a good one for them, but we are aware that even if they don't perform, they are still capable of easily beating you. They will be coming here to get the three points," the former Real player told his Eibar's website
"We have performed well in all of our home games and if we perform to a high standard, then we can make Real Madrid's life difficult.
"But we must recognise that they are the favourites because they are one of the best sides in the world."
Catch the delayed Eibar v Real Madrid match as live on Sky Sports 5 and Sky Sports Mix from 5.30pm on Saturday.