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Real Madrid's toughest run: A 'final' every 70 house

Real Madrid keep on trying to climb their own Everest this winter with one of the most complicated fixture lists in European football in front of them.

Since the return from the last international break, Los Blancos will play nine times in 32 days between LaLiga Santander and the Champions League, meaning they have a game every 3.5 days. For now, they've made it past Granada, Sheriff, and Sevilla.

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Now Carlo Ancelotti's side are coming into the most complicated phase. They have a 'final' every 70 hours, with Athletic Club (Wednesday, 21:00), Real Sociedad (Saturday, 21:00), and Inter (Tuesday, 21:00) next up.

After the tough game against Sevilla, Real Madrid have nine days to come in which they'll have very limited time on the training pitch and an emphasis will be placed on recovery sessions. They'll have recovery sessions, pre-match sessions, and matches. They won't have time for anything else. With a lot at stake, Ancelotti will have to make some changes too.

Athletic have two more days' rest

In addition to Real Madrid not having had much downtime, Athletic will have enjoyed two more days off as they last played on Friday.

There won't be any advantage to either side when they face La Real as both play at the same time on Wednesday, and Inter play at 18:00 on Saturday, giving them three hours more of rest before their Champions League fixture.

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Ancelotti's warning

Ancelotti has already mentioned the fixture congestion this season, and he is aware that the number of games can cause problems for his players.

"There are too many games," Ancelotti said. "The dynamics of football aren't good and we have to change things.

"There are so many games, injuries, and the quality of football is low because you can't constantly be at your best."

Pushed to the limit

Jose Luis San Martin, a former fitness coach at Real Madrid, knows what Ancelotti is talking about.

"Three days is the right time to recover," San Martin said. "From a cardiovascular, metabolic and energy level, it's enough.

"But on a muscular level it takes five days."

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