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Weekend Premier League predictions

Premier League
By ESPN Staff

Beckham ready to return for Madrid

David Beckham resumed training with the rest of the Real Madrid first team squad on Wednesday after missing the club's last three games because of injury.

The 31-year-old former England captain has been sidelined because of an inflammation in the cartilage in his left knee, but now looks likely to be available for this Sunday's league match at home to Athletic Bilbao.

Real Madrid sporting director Predrag Mijatovic believes the possibility of finally winning some silverware with the Spanish giants will lead David Beckham to extend his contract at the club.

Beckham has yet to celebrate a major trophy success since moving to Madrid in 2003, but following the sweeping changes at the club this summer and the team's decent start to the season, optimism is high at the Bernabeu that Real will soon end that barren spell.

And Mijatovic feels that could be a major draw for Beckham as the former England captain, whose four-year contract at Real runs out next summer, weighs up his options.

'He has not had much luck in the last three years after arriving at Real Madrid thinking he would win many trophies,' said Mijatovic in a joint programme between host broadcasters B92 and the BBC in Serbia.

'Now the situation is different, and I think that he is aware of that.

'We have a club that knows what it wants, we have an atmosphere that is much more healthy than the last three years, circumstances that are a guarantee that we can hope for great success at the end of the season.'

Beckham has made clear his frustration at being consigned to bench duty for much of this season under new Real coach Fabio Capello, and that lack of first-team action is believed to be a major reason why the 31-year-old has yet to pen a new deal.

Mijatovic is aware of the situation, but is still convinced the former Manchester United man will remain at the club.

'Beckham is happy in Madrid. At the moment he is not in the first XI, but that does not mean the situation will be the same in a few weeks.'