Gareth Bale ruled out of Liverpool clash

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Real Madrid have been dealt a major blow on the eve of their Champions League clash against Liverpool with the news that world-class forward Gareth Bale will miss the match through injury.

The Wales international could also miss Saturday’s La Liga fixture against fierce rivals Barcelona - the first Clasico of the 2014-15 campaign. Real Madrid announced that Bale is suffering from a buttock muscle injury and is subsequently a major doubt for this weekend’s game at the Bernabeu.

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Real Madrid confirm Bale's injury

A statement on the club’s official website read: “After tests carried out on Gareth Bale by the Real Madrid Sanitas medical services, he has been diagnosed with a muscular injury in the right pyramidalis muscle. His progress will be monitored.”

While Real Madrid are yet to officially rule Bale out of either match, Sky sources have confirmed that Bale will not be available for selection at Anfield on Wednesday evening. The 25-year-old sat out of training on Monday after hurting himself during Friday’s training session.

Bale unlikely to be risked ahead of El Clasico

Bale was an unused substitute for Saturday’s emphatic 5-0 victory over Levante and is not expected to be risked ahead of Real Madrid’s most important match of the season so far.

Los Blancos head into their European fixture against Liverpool with a three-point lead at the top of Group B, having won both of their opening Champions League fixtures against Basel and Ludogorets.

Starts for Isco and Hernandez?

Despite the loss of Bale, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti will be confident that his side have enough quality to see off their Premier League opponents. The Italian coach could hand another start to the in-form Isco, while Javier Hernandez - on loan from Manchester United - could make a second consecutive start if Karim Benzema is declared not fit enough to play from the outset.

Liverpool must also find a way to stop Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored a remarkable 19 goals in 12 matches so far this season.

United's interest in Bale and Ronaldo

The two-time Ballon d’Or winner can expect a hostile reception from the Anfield crowd following his six-year spell with rivals Manchester United, who are reportedly keen on either re-signing the Portuguese superstar or Bale in the near future.

Earlier this month, reports revealed that United are planning to launch a world-record £90 million bid for Bale, who became the most expensive footballer of all time when he left Tottenham for Real Madrid in a deal worth £85 million in the summer of 2013.

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