Gareth Bale has been ruled out of Real Madrid’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich tomorrow.
And the Welsh superstar is also in line to miss El Clasico too next weekend as he continues to struggle with a calf injury.
Zinedine Zidane left Bale out of his squad to face Real Sociedad on Saturday as he undergoes continued treatment. Gareth Bale picked up the injury in the 2-1 win over Bayern, a game he was subbed off in during the second half.
He sat out of training the day after but it appears the problem is showing few signs of improving. Isco stepped up to fill Bale’s boots against Sociedad – scoring twice in a dramatic 3-2 win.
And it looks increasingly likely that he have to step up to the plate on Sunday when Real meet their title rivals Barcelona. Barca are three points behind Real at the top of the table, having played one game more. Victory would see them leapfrog Real on goal difference.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich face a familiar problem as they travel to old European foes Real Madrid on Tuesday needing to make history to keep faint hopes of Champions League glory alive.
Cristiano Ronaldo`s second-half double in Munich last week made him the first man to reach a century of European goals, but more importantly handed Madrid a vital 2-1 first leg lead.
The 11-time European champions have never failed to progress after winning the first leg away from home in the Champions League.
“It won`t be easy, we`re the underdogs, but we`ll have a chance to win in Madrid,” insisted Bayern captain Philipp Lahm after Saturday`s 0-0 draw at Bayer Leverkusen.
Recent history, though, would say otherwise.
Should Bayern fail to pull off a fightback, it will be the fourth successive season they have been eliminated by Spanish opposition.
When Pep Guardiola was hired as Bayern boss in 2013, he was expected by the Bavarians` demanding hierarchy to build on Jupp Heynckes`s treble and create a Bayern dynasty of the like that saw them win three consecutive European Cups between 1974-1976.
Heynckes`s Bayern thrashed a worn down Barcelona left behind by Guardiola a year earlier 7-0 on aggregate on their way to winning the Champions League.
However, the Germans have only known defeat in four visits to Spain since without even scoring a goal.
Guardiola was humiliated on his three returns to Spain as Bayern boss in three semi-finals, first legs on the way to elimination against Real, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
Carlo Ancelotti was named as Guardiola`s replacement specifically for his European nous having won the Champions League a record three times as a coach.
Yet, the Italian hasn`t been able to find a solution for Bayern`s Spanish travel sickness as they also lost 1-0 to Atletico on their most recent visit back in September.
Bayern`s struggles tell a broader tale, though, as Spanish sides have won their last 11 European ties against German opponents in the past three seasons.
With Ancelotti`s men needing to score at least twice to have any chance of progressing, it is just as well top scorer Robert Lewandowski looks set to shake off a shoulder injury to start at the Bernabeu.
The Pole, who has scored 38 goals in 40 games this season, missed the first leg and the stalemate against 10-man Leverkusen in which Bayern missed a host of chances.