MADRID – Real Madrid started on Monday its preparations for two upcoming Clasicos against archrival FC Barcelona in both the second leg of the Copa del Rey semis and La Liga.
Madrid’s morning training included a recovery session for the starting players who took part in the capital team’s 2-1 away win over Levante on Sunday night, while the remainder of the squad, including Francisco Roman Alarcon Suarez, best known as Isco, went through intensive practice.
“Isco completed the whole session at the same pace as the group,” the club stated on its website. “Vinicius Jr., Reguilon, Casemiro, Lucas Vazquez, Kroos and Nacho were out running on the grass.”
Meanwhile, Madrid’s Argentine head coach Santiago Solari oversaw the session that started with physical work inside the club’s facilities at Valdebebas sports complex.
After that, the players “worked on possession and pressing and ended with games on reduced-size pitches,” according to the statement, adding that midfielder Marcos Llorente is still recovering from his muscle injury.
Isco, who participated in the group practice for the first time on Monday’s session, was experiencing significant pain in his back and neck since Feb. 10, and started last week to work individually.
Madrid is set to host Barcelona twice within a four-day stretch at Santiago Bernabeu, starting with the Copa del Rey clash on Wednesday, while the second clash, scheduled for next Saturday, is a league match.
For its part, Barcelona’s team also returned to training Monday, following the 4-2 away win over Sevilla in La Liga Saturday, when Argentine superstar Lionel Messi notched his 50th career hat-trick and assisted on another goal.
Barcelona, then, went down on the scoreboard on two different occasions, but a clinical Messi led his team back and made a big statement ahead of the two upcoming Clasicos.
The Catalan club announced on its website that its players who started Sevilla’s duel had a recovery session, while the others went through normal group practice, including midfielder Arthur Melo of Brazil and goalie Jasper Cillessen of the Netherlands.
The statement added that Barça’s B-Team players; Iñaki Peña, Chumi, Miranda and Riqui Puig, took part in the team practice.