British players’ debuts for Real Madrid have not been short of drama, with Jonathan Woodgate’s own goal and red card perhaps the most famous first match in Real Madrid’s recent history.
Gareth Bale will be hoping to avoid repeating his former Spurs colleague’s antics, although if you fancy him to “do a Woodgate” it is available at 500/1.
Instead the Welshman will hope to follow in the footsteps of the likes of David Beckham, Michael Owen and Steve McManaman, who enjoyed fine starts at the Spanish club.
Beckham scored against Mallorca on the Super Cup in his competitive debut, before netting three minutes into his first La Liga match.
McManaman set up a late winner on his debut, whilst Owen also provided an assist in his first game.
However, the Brit Bale would most like to copy is Laurie Cunningham, who scored twice and set up the other in a 3-1 win over Valencia in his first match for Real Madrid.
The 24-year-old will first have to get on the pitch, with the £86m man priced at 10/11 to start on the bench against Villarreal.
If he does start, Carlo Ancelotti will have to decide where to play him. Bale is 9/4 to start as right forward and 12/1 to be Madrid’s left-back, where he began his career at Southampton and Spurs.
At 2/1 Angel Di Maria is the likeliest player to be sacrificed if Bale is brought on, and the Argentine could be the man who eventually makes way to allow the Welshman into the starting line-up.
After a Premier League season where Bale was shown four yellow cards for diving, he is 16/1 to be booked for simulation against Villarreal.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing
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