Carlo Ancelotti says he has not had a fall out with Gareth Bale or Eden Hazard (Anytime goalscorer – Bale 7/4, Hazard 7/4) and says the duo are fit and in contention to face Elche (Match betting – Elche 11/2, draw 10/3, Real Madrid 1/2) in Thursday’s Copa Del Rey clash.
Neither player has featured much of Los Blancos since Ancelotti made his return to the Bernabeu in the summer, replacing the outgoing Zinedine Zidane.
Bale – who is out of contract at Madrid in the summer – has spent much of the season on the treatment table and has not featured for his club since August, and has played more games for Wales.
The 32-year-old’s future has been in doubt for a long time and it appears he will not be extending his stay in Spain beyond the summer.
Hazard has never hit the form he did for Chelsea since making the £100million move three years ago.
With Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, and Marco Asensio the first-choice players in the side attacking areas, Hazard has found it tough to get games.
He has played 13 times in La Liga this season, and has been an unused substitute in each of their last three games.
Ancelotti says he has not had a rift with the pair and they are in contention to face Elche in the Copa Del Rey round of 16.
“Nothing has happened between us,” the Italian insisted.
“The coach, me, chooses the best players for each game, whether it’s fair or not. It’s what happens at every big club.
“You can be really good but still you don’t play,” he added. “I could talk about Nacho, Marcelo, [Dani] Ceballos, Isco, [Luka] Jovic, they’re players with great quality. The same thing happens with them as with Bale and Hazard.”
Meanwhile, Barcelona are also in cup action as they face a trip to Athletic Bilbao (Match betting – Athletic Bilbao 21/10, draw 9/4, Barcelona 13/10).
Xavi’s men have been in inconsistent form recently and were beaten by Real in Spanish Supercopa last week in extra time.
They face a Bilbao side who have the second-best defensive record in La Liga this season.