Real Madrid training update: Intensity picks up as meeting with Manchester United approaches

MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 19: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid in action during a training session at Valdebebas training ground on July 19, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Victor Carretero/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 19: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid in action during a training session at Valdebebas training ground on July 19, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Victor Carretero/Real Madrid via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid‘s two-a-day training sessions in Miami have slowly started to pick up the intensity as the players and coaches prepare for their first match of the preseason against Manchester United.

Monday marked the fifth day in the last week the players back from summer vacation have gone through two training sessions in a day. With 14 of the Los Blancos players back from the World Cup and now fully rested, new boss Julen Lopetegui has been putting his stars through the ringer.

With lots of drills working with the ball, the Spanish manager has been making sure his players are shaking off the rust and getting back to mid-season form before facing United on Tuesday night.

Several players who took part in the competition in Russia have returned to full activity and are beginning their preparations for the UEFA Super Cup on August 15th in Estonia. The likes of Keylor Navas, Dani Carvajal, Toni Kroos, Nacho, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez are back in training and should get some playing time over the next three matches.

Sergio Ramos is in Miami but has yet to join up with the squad and likely won’t feature in tomorrow’s match. Others, like Casemiro, Raphael Varane, Marcelo, and Luka Modric are still enjoying a break from the beautiful game and should meet up with the team upon their return to Spain next week.

During this morning’s session – which was not cut short due to a storm, unlike yesterday – only 14 players went through an intense workout with the coach closely monitoring each and every move.

Her is an official statement from the Real Madrid website recapping the morning session.

"“Keylor Navas, Casilla, Luca, Lunin, Nacho, Isco, Carvajal, Lucas Vázquez, Asensio, Kroos and youth-team players Seoane, León, Feuillassier and De la Fuente all trained under the watchful eye of Julen Lopetegui. The Whites completed some continuous running and series involving hurdles, before working on high-intensity possession, ball circulation and passing drills. Finally, the players took part in a game played in reduced spaces and completed a series of stretches.”"

Tonight, the players took part in another session at the Hard Rock Stadium, the site of the match tomorrow. Working primarily with the ball in short, precise passing drills, the entire 32-man squad went through their final tune-up before facing the Red Devils.

The match will take place at 7:05 PM EST, 2:00 AM GMT (+2). While the training has intensified, it is hard to predict what the starting lineup will look like to begin the match and how the players will deal with it.

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Manchester United has already played in two matches, defeating AC Milan in a lengthy penalty shootout and losing to Liverpool 4-1 on Saturday, so while they haven’t played great, they have gotten some match experience.

We will continue to keep you updated on the prematch festivities leading up to kickoff.

Stay tuned to The Real Champs for more great Real Madrid coverage!