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Injury update: Real Madrid superstar duo pushing to return in time for Barcelona clash

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

26 match days into La Liga, Real Madrid sit comfortably at the top of the standings. The men in white are on 65 points with 20 wins, five draws, and one loss to their name, while their closest competition, Girona, sit six points behind them.

Barcelona, the Merengues’ arch-rivals, are currently on 57 points and thus a complete eight points behind Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

While it is still difficult for the Blaugranas to mathematically catch up with the men in white, the next Clasico could well be the Catalans’ last-ditch hope of re-entering the race.

Preparing for the face-off

According to reports from SPORT, Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao are both working hard to beat deadlines and make it in time to take part in El Clasico. The duo knows that the game could well decide the league title and wish to be fit for the face-off.

Having suffered ACL injuries early in the season, both players have been working on their recovery for over seven months now. They began training on the field last month, but they are still tangibly away from a return to group training and match fitness.

Courtois and Militao are in the final stretch of their recovery, but will not be risked prematurely given the seriousness of the injury. Their participation in the Clasico, needless to say, depends solely on the medical green light.

Courtois has already started light training. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

Manager Carlo Ancelotti provided an update on their condition earlier today, saying: “We have to take advantage of the international break and then the mini-break for the Copa del Rey.

“At that time they will do some work with the team. After 14 April, after Mallorca, they could be back.”

The next Clasico is set to take place on the weekend of April 20-21, giving the duo 45 days to recuperate to the fullest.

Two to the good

Real Madrid have got the better of Barcelona twice this season, boasting of a 100% win record over Xavi’s men in 2023-24. The third meeting is scheduled to be held at the Santiago Bernabeu, giving Los Blancos great chances of completing the clean sweep.

Wiping off Barcelona thrice in a year while also lifting the Spanish Super Cup and La Liga would be the dream end to the season for Real Madrid, but Los Blancos must be wary of their form. After all, the eight-point gap is not impossible to overcome.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid convinced with 21-year-old loanee’s performances, will count on him next season

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Photo via Getty Images

Real Madrid are eager to enhance their options in central defense after deciding to not sign any defenders in the recent January transfer window.

Several players are on the club’s radar, with Lille’s promising center-back Leny Yoro most notably high on the club’s wishlist.

However, the Merengues are not turning a blind eye to their homegrown academy gems, as Rafa Marin is making a strong case for himself to join the first team dynamics next summer.

Rafa Marin strengthens his case

The 21-year-old is presently on loan at Alaves and is showcasing solid performances in the heart of defense, with Real Madrid reported to count on him next season.

Now, AS have reported that the reason for the club’s trust in Marin is his upsurge in performances at Alaves. And if Nacho Fernandez leaves, Marin will serve as the fourth central defender in the squad.

A testament to his worth to Alaves is the fact that Marin has not been benched since mid-November, demonstrating his importance in coach Luis Garcia Plaza’s defense.

With 2,282 total minutes played, he ranks as the fourth-highest on the team with the most minutes.

Against Atletico Madrid recently, Rafa Marin enjoyed a stellar outing. In addition to making 15 recoveries and 9 interceptions, he took part in 24 defensive actions. Along with winning two ground and four air duels, he only committed one foul.

A stellar performance vs Atletico. (Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images)

An important summer for Marin

Not only is Rafa Marín returning to Real Madrid, but he is also going to represent Spain in the Olympics in Paris.

Marin was included in five of the six matches during the Euro Under-21 qualifiers because coach Santi Denia of Spain’s under-21 team greatly values his presence and height (1.91 meters).

Marin has a bright future ahead of him if all goes according to plan. His season with Alaves is sure to serve as a stepping stone for his integration into the Real Madrid first team.

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