Given Daniel Sturridge’s improbable odds of participation , Liverpool was already in poor position for today’s UEFA Champions League clash in Spain against unblemished Group B leaders Real Madrid.
But now the Reds powerful opposition has received a fitness boost from none other than Welsh hero Gareth Bale.
Real boss Carlo Ancelotti said Bale has healed from an injury to his backside and is “ready to play” against Liverpool, though whether as a starter or substitute is still up for discussion.
The 25-year-old, who signed from Tottenham for £85m in September 2013, has not played for his club since 5 October because of a buttock injury.
“He’s ready to play. I don’t know if he will play from the off or on the bench,” said Real boss Carlo Ancelotti.
Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge is “highly unlikely” to make a comeback despite travelling to Madrid.
Liverpool could easily be in last place in Group B with a loss in Madrid, with multiple scenarios dictating their descent. A Basel/Ludogorets draw in Bulgaria would send a losing Liverpool bottom, while any other non-absurd goal-scoring result between the Swiss and Bulgarian sides would move the Reds down.