Zidane accepts the need to win

22 December 2017 08:48:20 EST

Zinedine Zidane has admitted that his Real Madrid side need to beat Barcelona in El Clasico to reignite their hopes of retaining their La Liga crown.

Los Blancos trail league leaders Barca by 11 points going into the clash at the Santiago Bernabeu at lunchtime on Saturday, with head coach Zidane well aware that a win for the hosts is something of a necessity.

We are confident we can win the match, as we always are.

Zinedine Zidane

He told the Spanish media: "Everybody thinks about this fixture and they are obviously significant in the season, but we must keep working as Saturday is just another match for us - another three points we can win.

"It is important in the context of the league, we have more to lose due to the league situation that we are a little bit behind.

"This is the most important game of our campaign to date and winning El Clasico is always nice.

"Barcelona are a strong team and you can see that in the standings, but we are confident we can win the match, as we always are."

Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to feature after overcoming a calf injury sustained in the 1-0 Club World Cup final victory against Gremio last weekend.

However, Zidane refused to be drawn on whether Gareth Bale would start the game, having been hampered by injuries for large parts of the current campaign.

He added: "You'll see tomorrow if he plays. As always, I can't tell you, that's for me to think about.

"The good thing is everyone is fit. That's a good thing, but also bad, because I must leave players out."

Wales ace Bale is available at 4/1 to score the first goal of the game in the Bernabeu, with Ronaldo priced at 3/1, while Barca striker Luis Suarez is a 9/2 shot.

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