Real Madrid vs Athletic

Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao live stream info, TV channel, time: How to watch La Liga on TV, stream online

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When: Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

Real Madrid’s most important match of the season comes against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final and there are several first-team players who are battling for their involvement in that tie, one such being Gareth Bale, who has one last chance to secure his spot.

The Welsh international played just 36 minutes against Paris-Saint Germain in the first knockout round and this was followed by only 45 minutes in the quarter-final against Juventus.

Despite Zinedine Zidane being a huge admirer of Bale’s abilities, he hasn’t been able to force his way into the team for the big matches of late and this is a huge concern for the club moving forward.

There are a multitude of options for the French coach in Bale’s position, and he’s tended to prefer Lucas Vazquez or Marco Asensio, even Isco has returned to favour since the international break.

At the moment, Bale’s only function is to play in LaLiga matches when the starters are handed a rest between continental fixtures, this is hardly a role befitting a 90 million euro player.

Los Blancos hoped that Bale would be able to work in tandem with Cristiano Ronaldo as well as eventually take his place and win the Ballon d’Or.

In 2018, this couldn’t seem like a more unrealistic possibility, the former Tottenham Hotspur forward’s career has stalled, although it’s hard to argue that his time in the Spanish capital hasn’t been incredibly successful.

Injuries have blighted the last two campaigns, so much so that it isn’t out of the realms of possibility that the current campaign proves to be his last at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

The trio of Bale, Ronaldo and Karim Benzema has ceased to be untouchable for the coach, at one time he would trust the trio implicitly but now he can’t, the performances from Benzema and Bale haven’t been consistent enough and domestic results have dropped.

Bale didn’t play against Malaga, so he’s expected to start against Athletic Club on Wednesday evening, at least in accordance with how Zidane usually likes to rotate his players.

This stands as the 28-year-old’s final chance to impress and stake a claim for a place in the team which will take on the Bavarian giants on April 25.

There are no further matches in-between Wednesday’s clash and the European fixture, as such it’s likely that the whole starting line-up to face the Basque club will have Bayern Munich in mind.

Toni Kroos and Luka Modric will both likely be rested, Casemiro and Isco may also join them on the bench, although Ronaldo at this stage of the season needs to keep playing to remain in good form.

Whilst the LaLiga match doesn’t hold any real importance on a wider sense, the fact that the BBC trio will be reunited, Bale has a chance to put in a performance so impressive that he becomes a real option for Zidane at the Allianz Arena.

Isco was able to do it with his fine displays with the Spanish national team, and now the Welsh record goalscorer has to, it may well save his career in Madrid.