REAL MADRID

Bale in line for Roma start after making scoring return

He now has 14 LaLiga goals this season, having also provided nine assists in the Spanish top flight and a further two in the Champions League.

Bale in line for Roma start after making scoring return

Before being forced off with a soleus muscle injury in Real Madrid's LaLiga victory over Sporting Gijón in mid-January, Gareth Bale had put together a streak of 11 goals in eight league appearances.

That run saw him score four times in the 10-2 mauling of Rayo Vallecano and bag a hat-trick in the 5-0 thrashing of Deportivo la Coruña, only drawing a blank twice, in Los Blancos' encounters with Villarreal and Real Sociedad.

In Saturday's thumping of Celta Vigo, Bale returned to action after recovering from his calf issue - and picked up where he had left off in front of goal, finding the net just 14 minutes after coming on as a substitute. The strike took his LaLiga scoring tally this term to 14 in 16 games.

"We'll take it step by step with Bale; he's a fundamental player for us," Real boss Zinedine Zidane had explained ahead of the weekend win over Celta. And with minutes - plus a goal - now under his belt, the former Tottenham Hotspur man is set for a starting berth in Tuesday's Champions League last-16 second leg with Roma.

Bale has featured only twice in the continent's premier club competition this season, on both occasions against Shakhtar Donetsk. He is yet to get off the mark in Europe in 2015-16, but has provided two assists to go with the nine goals he has set up in the league.