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Drop Bale over Vinicius and Lucas - AS fan poll

Real Madrid fans have overwhelming chosen to drop Gareth Bale from the attacking line, despite the Welsman being Madrid's second highest scorer this season with 11 goals.

Bale, durante el Espanyol-Real Madrid.

Bale’s return from injury after three weeks on the side-lines has opened the debate on Real Madrid’s attacking line. Should the Welshman start? And if so, which one of the two wide players that have played in his absence should be dropped to the bench?

To gauge the opinion of the Real Madrid fan base, AS conducted an online poll, asking: “Who should drop to the bench with the return of Bale?”

The overall majority of fans surveyed would prefer to see Bale being dropped ahead of Vinicius and Vazquez. The Welshman received 54.10% of the votes. At quite a distance in second place is Lucas Vazquez, whom 36.98% of voters chose to drop; while Vinicius is considered the most indispensable, receiving just 8.91% of the votes.

Bale’s superior numbers have not saved him

Bale has received the highest numbers of votes despite the fact that he came on for the last 27 minutes against Espanyol and managed to score Madrid’s fourth goal in the 4-2 victory at Cornellà. The Welshman is the also the club’s second highest scorer this season with eleven goals and has provided five assists – numbers far superior to Vinicius (three goals) and Lucas (four goals).

But his numbers have not been sufficient enough to appease the fans, who have overwhelmingly voted to drop Bale to the bench – perhaps taking into the consideration Madrid’s current attacking form in the absence of the Welshman.

Los Blancos have scored 15 goals in their last six games, all of which, except one (his own 67’ goal against Espanyol on his return), were scored while Bale was not on the pitch.

From a defensive standpoint, it also worth noting the efforts of Vinicius (who has made 16 more ball recoveries than Bale despite playing 812’ less than him) and Lucas (four times more ball recoveries with the same time played) have far exceeded that of the Welshman – something that was also perhaps taken into consideration by voters.