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ATLÉTICO-REAL MADRID

Marcelo speeds up recovery for derby; Isco and Modric back

The Brazilian took part in some of the sessions with the group to increase his chances of playing at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday night.

Marcelo speeds up recovery for derby; Isco and Modric back

Real Madrid started their preparation for the Madrid derby on Thursday with a training session at the Ciudad Deportivo with one new face in the crowd; Marcelo is back and took part in some of the session with the group to see how his recovery is coming and to assess his chances of playing on Saturday night.

A few short hours after picking up three points against Osasuna to leap to the top of LaLiga, Madrid returned to training with their mind not on their league position but on one of their competitors for that top spot.

Zidane's rotations, eight in total, allowed the squad to arrive fresh on Thursday and the players who started the game had a lighter session. Amongst those who started on Wednesday were Sergio Ramos, Casemiro and Toni Kroos, three players sure to start at the Wanda. They trained but with less intensity than the others.

Another two faces that will come as a relief to Madrid fans were Isco and Luka Modric. The pair have recovered for the derby and are currently getting back up to speed with an eye on the clash on hostile terrain on Saturday. The staff kept a close eye on Marcelo to see how he is recovering from his neck injury.

The absence of Ferland Mendy through injury makes Marcelo's potential availability all the more important. Nacho deputised on Wednesday but it's not his natural position and with Kieran Trippier off to a flyer at Atlético, someone like Marcelo might be better able to fend him off.

They train again on Friday at 11:00 at Valdebebas and it will be the last session before the first derby of the season.