Gareth Bale is performing poorly for Real Madrid because he's saving himself for international duty with Wales.

That's the opinion of Israel manager Eli Guttman whose side face Chris Coleman's Dragons in a European Championship qualifier later this month.

Bale, 25, has been in poor form for Los Blancos this campaign, a stark contrast to his debut season during which he scored crucial goals in the Copa Del Rey and Champions League finals.

Madrid have fallen behind Barcelona in the La Liga table and Carlo Ancelotti, who masterminded last season's historic La Decima triumph, is expected to be sacked at the end of the season.