Bale, 'keeper issues in spotlight for Real against Villarreal

Madrid, Sep 13 (IANS) All eyes will be at the El Madrigal Stadium in Villarreal Saturday night as two sides with a 100 percent record in the new season go head-to-head.

However, sadly for the home side Villarreal, who have won their first three games of the campaign after spending last season in the second division, majority of the cameras will be focused on Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, reports Xinhua.

The most expensive player in the world is widely expected to make his debut for Real Madrid after playing around half an hour with his national team, Wales, Tuesday and completing three full training sessions with Real Madrid.

Perhaps the question is not whether or not Bale will get time on the pitch, but where he will play given that Cristiano Ronaldo occupies the position on the left of attack that Bale filled so effectively for Tottenham Hotspurs in recent seasons. Another new arrival Isco has been in great form playing behind the striker.

There is slight chance that Bale could find himself making his debut at left back given that Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao are both out of action after picking up injuries on duty with their respective national teams.

Before showing himself to be an explosive pace winger, Bale began his career playing at left back. Although, it is more likely that Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will opt to play new Spain international Nacho Gonzalez or Alvaro Arbeloa on the left.

Meanwhile, with Xabi Alonso still out injured, Luka Modric will be looking to show his improved form in central midfield where he will be partnered by either Sami Khedira or Casimiro.

Asier Illaramendi could also be in line for his debut after recovering from a pre-season injury but like Bale, he will probably have to wait for his moment on the bench.

Although Bale is the main focus of attention, the secondary plot is possibly more interesting as Ancelotti once again has to decide between Diego Lopez and Iker Casillas in goal.

Lopez has so far been given the nod ahead of the Spain captain but rumours are that Casillas' agent has been speaking to other clubs about a move in case he is unable to recover his position, has once again put the debate back in the spotlight. It would be fair to say that for all Casillas' undoubted brilliance, Diego has so far done nothing to deserve losing his place.

Villarreal have not forgotten that last season in the second division they conceded five goals to Madrid's B team. But that came before the reaction which carried them to automatic promotion.

The El Madrigal Stadium will be packed and the home side will look to the tight pitch and the pressure from the stands to pressure Real Madrid from the start.

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