Real Madrid carried out their final training session ahead of the trip to Bilbao to face Athletic on Saturday evening with Julen Lopetegui enjoying the luxury of having his full complement of 24 players available.
Castilla central defender Javi Sánchez, who played a part in Real’s pre-season tour of the US, joined the senior squad for Friday’s session and while he won’t make the squad for San Mamés he is viewed by the Real boss as the side’s fifth centre half for the season and will get his chance at some stage when injuries and suspensions start to take their toll.
Real and Barcelona leading the early running
Madrid have made a perfect start to the season, claiming nine points from nine available, but are now entering a phase of five games in 14 days that includes the Athletic game, Sevilla and the Madrid derby against Atlético. Adding a little pressure in Bilbao will be the fact that Barcelona, who are level at the top of LaLiga, will already have played their week four fixture away at Real Sociedad – a stadium where Ernesto Valverde have traditionally struggled to gain positive results.
Lopetegui is set to announce his final list for the trip to San Mamés on Saturday morning.