Gareth Bale is likely to play against Malaga on Saturday as Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is eager to have the Wales winger in form for the Champions League tie against Juventus and the game with La Liga leaders Barcelona over the following week.
"I want to give him minutes tomorrow," Ancelotti told a news conference on Friday. "He needs to play, to be a part of the team."
Bale, who became the world's most expensive player when he joined from Tottenham Hotspur for 100 million euros in the close season, returned to full training this week after being sidelined by a thigh strain last month.
Real need to beat Malaga to keep tabs on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, who are both undefeated in their first eight matches and lead the table by five points.
Real, lying third, knew how to improve their game, Ancelotti said.
"We're going to improve because we know where we're making mistakes."
Malaga coach Bernd Schuster, who was fired by Real Madrid in 2008, scents a weakness in the team however.
"Madrid is in a strange moment and I am going to go for it," the German told Marca sports daily on Wednesday.
Real goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas, who said this week he might consider leaving if he did not get more playing time, is expected to be among the substitutes on Saturday, as Diego Lopez continues to Ancelotti's first choice for league games.
"Personally, he hasn't said anything to me about it," Ancelotti said of Casillas's remarks which were reported in local media.
"We need to speak with him because it's the right thing to do, to understand what is happening. I cannot say he's happy because it's normal that he wants to play."
All of Real's internationals who were called up for duty over the last week were available to play except for injured France defender Raphael Varane, who hoped to be back for the visit of Juventus on Wednesday, Ancelotti said.
Image: Gareth Bale
Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images