Bale left out for Levante trip despite Zidane's plaudits

Gareth Bale has been left out of Real Madrid's squad to face Levante, though Marco Asensio has returned to training after a long lay off.

Gareth Bale has been left out by Real Madrid   -  Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane defended Gareth Bale's performance against Celta Vigo, yet the Wales forward has not been included in Real Madrid's squad for the trip to Levante.

Bale started and played 84 minutes on Sunday, as Madrid was held to a 2-2 home draw by Celta, which equalised late on through Santi Mina.

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"I think Bale played a good game and we have to keep thinking that there's a long way to go and we have to think about what we all do on the pitch to improve it," Zidane said in the wake of the draw.

However, Bale will not get the chance to continue in Madrid's XI this week after he was left out of the squad for the clash with Levante.

The 30-year-old has reportedly been struggling with a stomach bug, which meant he was unable to train on Wednesday.

Striker Luka Jovic has also missed out – with the Serbia international reportedly suffering from the same issue – while Rodrygo and Nacho do not feature in the 19-man squad.

Eden Hazard, who made his comeback from injury against Celta, is included.

Madrid has been boosted by the return to non-contact training of Marco Asensio, who has missed the entirety of the season due to a knee ligament injury.

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