On Wednesday, he heard whistles when he came on as a sub, but on Saturday the Welshman has an opportunity to turn the fans back on his side.
Gareth Bale faces a new challenge at the Santiago Bernabéu after being whistled when he came on for Lucas Vázquez in the 68th minute on Wednesday in the Copa Clásico. The Welsh attacker is currently in the middle of his most troubling spell at Real Madrid since his arrival in 2013. But against Barcelona on Saturday night, he has another chance to bounce back with Solari saying he is 'still important' to the side.
After starting from the bench in the last three games (Barça, Levante and Girona), the player that divides opinion returns to the starting XI on Saturday night. Since recovering from his last injury (he came back against Espanyol on 27 January), we have become more accustomed to seeing him emerge later in games than from the off. In nine appearances, he has been on the bench seven times and started just two matches (Alavés and Ajax).
Real Madrid have now confirmed this. The starting XI:— AS English (@English_AS) 2 March 2019
Courtois, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Reguilón, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Bale, Vinicius, Benzemahttps://t.co/M27IlehXIF
The Welshman has an opportunity to fix an otherwise poor record against Barcelona. He has played in 13 Clásicos with three wins, two draws and eight losses. Five of those were at the Bernabéu.
He has only scored two goals in those 13 games (0.15 goals per game). One of them was key, however, when he whizzed past Marc Bartra to secure the Copa del Rey in 2014 and the other came in last season's 2-2 draw in the Camp Nou.