Real Madrid vice-captain Marcelo has stepped up his return to action and is training this week at an empty Valdebebas complex, given the majority of Los Blancos stars are away on international duty.
The Brazilian was substituted during the 3-0 reverse at Sevilla on September 26 after sustaining a right calf muscle injury, and has since missed the past three matches, in which the Whites have failed to find the back of the net.
Marcelo will not partake in Brazil’s upcoming internationals against Saudi Arabia and Argentina but is all but certain to be available for Real’s October 20th home clash in La Liga against Levante.
Gareth Bale is set to win his fitness battle and play in Wales’ Nations League tie against the Republic of Ireland.
Bale remains doubtful for the Cardiff friendly with Spain on Thursday after coming off in the closing stages of Real Madrid’s La Liga defeat at Alaves last weekend.
The 29-year-old has been troubled by a groin injury in recent weeks, but he trained on Tuesday and the Wales medical staff will continue to monitor his fitness ahead of the Spain game.
Although that clash might be too soon for him, it is understood that Bale is in line to start in Dublin next Tuesday.
If Bale does miss out against Spain, Harry Wilson could be on free-kick duty after his stunning effort at Old Trafford for Derby last month.
The on-loan Liverpool winger scored a spectacular 30-yard effort to earn praise from Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp and a rebuke from his Wales manager and Manchester United great Ryan Giggs.
“He (Klopp) messaged me after the game,” said Wilson, who copied the previous Old Trafford goal celebrations of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard by holding one hand aloft to show five fingers, referring to Liverpool’s five European cups – compared to United’s three.
“He just said ‘fantastic free-kick, really great football’.
“It’s great to hear from the manager whose team you want to be in in the future.
“He (Giggs) did mention a fine to me when I got into camp, but the celebration was just heat of the moment.
“I practice my free-kicks a lot and spend time with a couple of lads to get that technique.
What a hit from Harry Wilson vs Manchester United tonight💥 pic.twitter.com/VO4LV6J81e— The Liverpool FC News (@TheLiverpoolFCN) September 25, 2018
“I think Gareth is definitely top of the pile when it comes to taking them, and rightly so.
“But if he’s not on the pitch for one reason or another, I’ll be putting my name forward.”
Wilson will also be keeping an eye on England during the international break as he shares a Derby flat with fellow loanee Mason Mount.
The Chelsea youngster earned his first England call-up for the Nations League games against Croatia and Spain despite never having played in the Premier League.
“He’s been great for us all season. He’s scoring, assisting and deserves his call-up,” Wilson said.
“Mason’s a great lad to live with, even if he’s a bit messy and the flat is a bit dirty at the minute!
“We go to the cinema, go shopping, go out for food and we try to do that with a couple of our team-mates as well.
“We’re setting up a Come Dine with Me in Derby. Every other week some people will come to our house and we’ve got to cook for them and try some new recipes.
“My speciality is spaghetti bolognese, and I have to say I’m a better chef than Mason.”
The Sport360 Team are in place bringing you the latest Real Madrid news on Tuesday.
11:20pm – Hazard warning for Madrid
Chelsea are hopeful they will eventually tie star man Eden Hazard down to a new contract despite Real Madrid’s interest, according to reports.
7:50pm – Lopetegui is still Nacho’s man
Defender Nacho Fernandez has declared the Real Madrid squad remain fully behind embattled head coach Julen Lopetegui, despite the chaos engulfing the club.
3pm – The Premier League is in Dani Carvajal’s future
Dani Carvajal is set for life at Real Madrid after playing such an integral part in their Champions League successes. But Carvajal isn’t interested in spending his entire career in the comfort zone.
Find out here why England is sure to be a stop for the Spain right-back.
1pm – Is it time for Mariano without Karim Benzema for Levante?
The goals certainly haven’t been flowing for Los Blancos of late – and one of the main culprits is Karim Benzema.
With his calf now playing up, is it time for big-money back-up Mariano to steal the spotlight? Read the news here.
10am – Good news!
Los Blancos schemer Isco is nearing a full return as he steps up his recovery from appendicitis and surgery.
The 26-year-old Spaniard last played against Espanyol in La Liga on September 22nd and has missed Real’s last four matches – three of which ended in defeat.
It is expected Isco will be available for selection in 10 days or so.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) October 8, 2018