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Bale and Marcelo, Real Madrid's left sided weakness

A knock, a muscle tear... Madrid boss Solari was a little lost for words following the latest injury sustained by the Welsh player. It remains to be seen if the club will issue an official medical report on the injury but I'd say the chances of one surfacing are unlikely. Florentino has made Bale's injury situation something of club a taboo as the Welsh player suffers more than others due to his his especially thin muscle tissue. In order to stay in the boss' good books, Solari took the political approach after the Villarreal game and stated how the team missed Bale in the second half. The truth of the matter is that, even when he was on the pitch, the Cardiff born player offered little. What we do know is that he's expected to be missing for approximately a month and the team will have to make do without his services. Frequent excellent goals and even more frequent absenteeism through injury is part and parcel of the player that is Gareth Bale.

Gareth Bale of Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale of Real Madrid CFAlex CaparrosGetty Images

Injury prone

As the season progresses, it's becoming so much more blatant the gaping hole left behind at Real Madrid following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. The idea that the departure of the Portuguese striker would propel both Benzema and Bale to step up to the plate in Ronaldo's absence has been nothing short of a debacle. At the same time, it is fair to say that Benzema has reinvented himself somewhat as a player. The French striker is now playing a more patient game and not prone to switching off in the course of the 90 minutes. Sadly for Real Madrid's interests, Bale has not made this metamorphosis and still remains a "fragile superman", a player that is too prone to injury and his constant absences make it difficult for any club to use as a key figure to build around.

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Left side

Time will tell if this latest setback for the Welsh international provides an opportunity for Isco. Villarreal boss Luis García was highly complimentary of the Malaga born player after the game, stating that his presence inhibited his side in controlling proceedings in the centre of the pitch. The focus from Solari in his post-match analysis was sightly different with the Argentine lamenting the absence of Bale, which in turn is an indirect jibe at his replacement on the night, Isco. At the same time, another problem area is hampering this Real Madrid side. Marcelo was never what one would call a "defensive titan" but he did what he could when called to cover his side of the pitch. The Brazilian is now so focused on attacking play that on too many occasions his focus on his defensive responsibilities are sadly lacking and becoming more glaring as time progresses. Real Madrid always look vulnerable on the left flank and this is one of the reasons why, that after bottom side Huesca, Real Madrid have conceded the second highest amount of goals away from home this season in LaLiga.