Mourinho ponders Bale options

04 March 2021 02:54:48 GMTPlus10

Gareth Bale turned back the clock with a double as Tottenham Hotspur swept aside Burnley 4-0 last Sunday, but that doesn't mean he is certain to start at Fulham.

Bale scored two goals and made another in a man-of-the-match performance as Spurs crushed the Clarets to reignite their Premier League top-four hopes.

Start the game, being on the bench, I don't know. We have to decide.

Jose Mourinho

Those were the Welsh star's first league goals in four months, but with Jose Mourinho having to juggle his squad due to a hectic schedule, Bale isn't guaranteed a start at Craven Cottage on Thursday evening.

Mourinho has had to manage Bale's fitness ever since the 31-year-old returned to the club on loan from Real Madrid in the summer nursing an injury.

His start at the weekend was just his third in the league and Mourinho is wary of overplaying Bale with a Europa League double header against Dinamo Zagreb and a North London derby at Arsenal to be squeezed in over the next fortnight.

But his weekend brace, hot on the heels of goals in both legs of their Europa League success against Wolfsberger, means Bale could be hitting peak form at just the right time.

"Start the game, being on the bench, I don't know," Mourinho told reporters. "We have to decide.

"He's such an experienced guy that of course his opinion is very important. But good reaction, good recovery sessions. He will be involved. I repeat, bench or starting, but he will be there."

Argentinian midfielder Giovani Lo Celso, back in training following a length spell out with a hamstring injury, won't be risked at Craven Cottage.

Spurs are 2.05 to win on Thursday evening, with the draw available at 3.40, while Bale is 3.00 to score at any time.

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