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Real Madrid

Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s injury problems have mounted with Isco and Raphael Varane missing training on Monday morning for tests, while it looks unlikely that either Gareth Bale or Keylor Navas will be back for Wednesday’s Champions League Group H game against Tottenham at Wembley.

Varane was substituted at half-time during Sunday’s shock 2-1 La Liga defeat at Girona. Zinedine Zidane said afterwards that the centre-back had suffered an adductor muscle issue.

Isco completed the 90 minutes despite appearing to have picked up a thigh problem late in the game.

Zidane said before the trip to Girona that he “would see” on Monday how Bale and Navas’ recoveries from their recent injuries were progressing ahead of the trip to England, so their absence from the group session suggests both the ex-Tottenham winger and team’s first-choice goalkeeper will not travel.

“The squad trained at Real Madrid City as they begin to prepare for the Champions League game against Tottenham, which will be played on Wednesday at Wembley (8.45pm CEST),” a club statement said.

“The players who started the game against Girona trained at a lower intensity out on the field, apart from Isco and Varane, who worked inside. Zidane had the Castilla goalkeeper Moha and the under-19s Dario with him in a session where ball work was the focus. Bale, [Dani] Carvajal, [Mateo] Kovacic and Keylor Navas continue their recovery processes. The first two trained alone on the field with and without a ball.”

No expected return date has yet been given for right-back Carvajal, who has not played since an infection in his chest was diagnosed a month ago.

Eighteen-year-old Achraf Hakimi has started five of Madrid’s last six games, and is expected to again deputise at Wembley, with Nacho Fernandez in place of Varane in central defence.

Isco’s absence would open a potential starting place for Marco Asensio or Dani Ceballos.

Madrid and Tottenham both have seven points from their opening three Champions League fixtures, following their 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu a fortnight ago. A win for either side will all but secure passage to the round-of-16, regardless of the result in Wednesday’s other Group H clash where Borussia Dortmund host Apoel Nicosia.

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