Bale ready for battle ahead of Clasico


Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is eagerly anticipating Saturday's Liga encounter with Barcelona and has insisted he is ready for battle after shaking off his muscle problems.

The Welshman has completed just four matches in all competitions for Madrid due to fitness issues and sat out Wales' international friendly against Netherlands as a precautionary measure.

Nevertheless, Bale is adamant that he is 100 per cent fit again and is determined to make an impact in Saturday's Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"I'm feeling strong and fit for this match. I'm ready for battle. I think I can provide the team with my speed and my strength. Those attributes always act as a bonus for us," Bale told the Bwin website.

"We're the two biggest sides in Spain. There is an enormous rivalry, which has been around for years, and we're always competing with each other for La Liga, Champions League and other championship titles.

"As such we have an incredible rivalry and all of that together means there is a greater sense of pressure out on the pitch, which makes these games so unique and exciting.

"We've been in good form so far this season, we've only lost one game and I still think there is some room for improvement. We could still be better, play better, and I'm hoping that, as the season goes on, our form continues to improve and that leads us to winning La Liga.

"Barcelona aren't going to change their playing style and neither will we. I'm certain you'll see an attacking game from both teams and it makes sense that the team that scores a lot of goals will win."

Madrid sit second in the Liga table ahead of this weekend's encounter, trailing leaders Barcelona by three points.