Real Madrid

Karim Benzema & Gareth Bale named in squad to face Atletico Madrid

Sean Walsh
The duo are back
The duo are back / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Real Madrid duo Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale have been named in Los Blancos' squad for El Derbi against city rivals Atletico on Sunday.

Carlo Ancelotti's side can open up a 13-point gap between themselves and their neighbours with a win at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday evening.

And they'll be boosted by the return of two key forwards after Real confirmed on Twitter that Benzema and Bale have returned to their matchday squad.

Benzema, who has elevated himself to another level in the last couple of years, was substituted with a hamstring injury in a 2-0 win at Real Sociedad last week, and subsequently missed the visit of Inter in the Champions League.

Luka Jovic, who has seriously struggled following a transfer from Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019, stepped up in Benzema's absence in the last seven days, getting two goals and an assist.

Nonetheless, Benzema's return will be a huge boost for Real - the France international has already grabbed 17 goals in 20 games this season for Los Blancos.

Bale, meanwhile, has suffered from a string of injury problems since August. The Welshman has scored one goal in three appearances for Real so far this season, despite speculation that he would leave in the summer.

He spent the 2020/21 season on loan at former club Tottenham, finding the net 16 times in 34 games back in north London. Bale has been tentatively linked with a third spell at Spurs at the end of his current contract following Antonio Conte's appointment as head coach.