Thibaut Courtois has been dropped to the bench for Real Madrid’s trip to Deportivo Alaves in La Liga on Saturday, while Gareth Bale makes his return to the starting XI.

The Blancos are gearing up for a return to La Liga action four days after a disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Paris Sant Germain in the Champions League.

Madrid held a 2-0 lead heading into the final then minutes of the match at Santiago Bernabeu, before a horrendous Courtois error allowed Kylian Mbappe to fire the visitors back into the game.

The Belgian goalkeeper has paid for his costly error by being left on the bench for Madrid’s latest domestic outing, with Alphonse Areola drafted in as his replacement.

Elsewhere, Bale has been restored to Zinedine Zidane’s line up, as the Blancos aim to overtake Barcelona at the La Liga summit.

Bale has not started for Madrid since a 4-2 win over Granada on October 5, having dealt persistent fitness before the international break.

The Welshman did, however, feature for his country in Euro 2020 qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Hungary earlier this month, which led to his loyalty to Madrid’s cause being questioned by supporters.

Bale’s future in the Spanish capital has been the subject of much speculation recently, but Zidane insisted the 30-year-old remains an important part of his squad after he returned from international duty.

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