Updated: Thursday, 16 January 2014 04:27 | By Agence France-Presse

Bale benched for Real Madrid Cup tie

Welsh winger Gareth Bale has been benched by Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti for the second leg of his side's last-16 tie against Osasuna on Wednesday.


Bale benched for Real Madrid Cup tie

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) chats with his teammate Welsh striker Gareth Bale during a training session at Real Madrid's sport city in Madrid on January 14, 2014

With Real leading 2-0 from last week's first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, Ancelotti made six changes in all for the return in Pamplona with Luka Modric and Karim Benzema among those also left out.

Bale has struggled to regain his best form since picking up a calf injury towards the end of last year and was substituted after an ineffectual performance in Real's 1-0 win away at Espanyol on Sunday.

Ancelotti has previously defended Bale's performances in recent weeks, claiming he just needs more game time to regain full fitness.

However, the Italian has preferred 20-year-old forward Jese Rodriguez to start in attack alongside recently crowned Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.

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